A total of 123 not-for-profit organisations have been granted $1 million in government funding for community-led initiatives aimed at improving women and girls’ access to sport and active recreation activities to support their wider wellbeing.
The Manatū Wāhine Ministry for Women Physical Activity and Wellbeing Fund is focused on supporting wāhine and kōtiro who face barriers to participation or who are not well supported by mainstream programmes. The fund was launched on 1 May for four weeks, with an independent assessment panel reviewing applications in late June.
“This fund is enabling us to support a wide range of organisations including Māori, Pacific, and ethnically diverse community groups, disability-focused organisations, women’s refuges and various other charities to deliver programmes and initiatives that nurture the wellbeing of women and girls in all their diversity,” said Secretary for Women and Manatū Wāhine Chief Executive, Kellie Coombes.
Investment for the fund has come from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as part of its work to maximise the impacts and benefits of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™. The fund is one of the initiatives dedicated to celebrating and empowering women and girls in sport and active recreation to support their wellbeing and to create ongoing benefits for our communities.
The funding will enable organisations like Blind Sport New Zealand delivering camps for young women to experience different sports and recreational activities in a safe and supportive environment.
Other examples of some of the initiatives being delivered under the fund are:
- Culturally appropriate swimming lessons for ethnic communities;
- Transport and childcare for young mothers who are struggling to access sport and physical activity programmes;
- Funding for dark pants so that an all-female cricket team feel confident enough to play when they have their period;
- A sports mentoring program for at-risk and disadvantaged girls.
The fund received 270 applications aimed at addressing practical, personal, social and cultural barriers to female participation in sport and physical activity to improve their overall wellbeing.
“It’s really exciting to be able to assist organisations and community groups to support more women and girls to be physically active, to connect with others and to feel empowered,” said Ms Coombes.
“The Physical Activity and Wellbeing Fund is a great example of how we can leverage major events such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup to empower women and girls and leave a lasting legacy for our communities,” she said.