Tolaga Bay Area School has been awarded a New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) grant of $61,411 towards bleachers for the gym, which has recently been upgraded to give the school and community a place not only to play sport, but also to engage in community activities such as local hui, performance and spectating.
School Administrator Susie Te Rure-Puha said, “The gym extension has been a dream of the school for more than 15 years, so it is with great pleasure that our school students now can benefit from a full-size basketball court, indoor netball, badminton, etc. With the addition of tiered seating, the school will be able to host other visiting school teams. It will also encourages parent/whanau and pakeke participation at gymnastic festivals, kapa haka performances, inter-school house competitions, and all school productions.
“Now we can also confidently plan to hold regional competitions and tournaments for basketball, badminton, indoor netball, volleyball and other regional events, which will enable other East Coast schools to participate and reduce travel costs. The nearest full-size gym prior to our school rebuild investment was in Gisborne and one in Te Araroa at Te Kura Kaupapa o Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti, which required over four hours travel for most of our East Coast schools.”
Tolaga Bay Area School is located north of Gisborne and caters for students in years 1-13. Of the 245 students enrolled, approximately 95% are of Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Uawa, and Ngāti Porou descent. Enactment of the school’s mission statement (“UAWA - Unrelenting Achievement With Attitude”) guides all school operations. The vision is for learners to be active and responsible citizens. Values of creativity, innovation, responsibility and kindness underpin school practices.