Good Sports $1m programme aimed at community netball, cricket

By Te Ao - Māori News
Financial lifeline to support community netball, cricket announced - Photo / File

Community netball and cricket are to receive a financial lifeline after ANZ announced the ANZ Good Sports Cricket and Netball Grants programme.

The programme will see $1 million to support the return of community netball and cricket following the COVID-19-imposed hiatus.

ANZ NZ has had longstanding relationships with Netball New Zealand and New Zealand Cricket and Antonia Watson, ANZ NZ CEO, said conversations with each sporting body highlighted how badly community sport had been impacted in recent months.

“For most New Zealanders, life as we knew it stopped a few months ago, and that included Kiwi kids’ Saturday morning sport,” she said.

“As New Zealand moves down the COVID-19 Alert Levels and we return to a more familiar way of life, it’s important to help kids back into their team sport and physical activity. 

“We worked with Netball New Zealand and New Zealand Cricket to create a community grant programme as they both told us community clubs would be facing challenges as they get back up and running again. In response, we created the ANZ Good Sports Cricket and Netball Grant programme committing $1 million to help local teams and clubs return to the games they enjoy.

“We want to help remove the financial barrier to help ensure as many Kiwi kids get back to playing netball and cricket safely, and as soon as possible,” Ms Watson said.

Netball New Zealand Chief Executive Jennie Wyllie says “This ANZ funding has come at a time community sport needs help getting back on its feet. Most sports teams haven’t been able to play for almost two months and as netballers we can’t wait for our teams to return to the court, and this grant will help ensure as many teams as possible can. If local clubs and teams are struggling financially we urge you to apply."

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White has hailed the ANZ Good Sports Grants, which pledges $1 million to support the return of grassroots cricket and netball, as “a hugely generous offer of support, and a significant shot in the arm for the community game”.

“NZC views community cricket as an absolute priority and this generosity from ANZ NZ will make a real difference to clubs and club cricketers throughout the country,” said Mr White.

“I can’t really overstate this point - the grassroots part of the game represents the life and blood of our sport and its health is critical to the future of cricket at all levels, including the BLACKCAPS and the WHITE FERNS.

“ANZ NZ has been a long-time supporter of cricket, and sport in general, and this programme just re-emphasises that, helping ensure our local teams and younger players get out on the field in the 2020-21 season.

“We’re very grateful for the assistance. We know circumstances are tough for families and clubs and that this support will make a significant and immediate difference.”

All local netball and cricket clubs or teams can apply for support through the ANZ grant. ANZ NZ is encouraging applicants to ask for what they need to help them get back up and running, this could include anything from uniforms and equipment to funding to help with ground maintenance.

Netball and cricket clubs or teams can apply now through this link.

ANZ NZ’s $1 million Good Sports Cricket and Netball Grants programme is in addition to the bank’s total $2 million donations to Women’s Refuge, Age Concern New Zealand and the Salvation Army in New Zealand as well as the Red Cross and a series of local charities in the Pacific to support vulnerable people through the COVID-19 crisis.