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McCully: National Supports School & Club Sports

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

3 November 2008 - National Party Sport and Recreation spokesman Murray McCully says National will ensure that more of the government's sport spending makes it through to schools and sports clubs.

"The role of schools in sport is critical. They provide the only catchment in which all young New Zealanders can be introduced to sport. If we intend to get better health outcomes and personal development through participation in sport, we simply have to start in schools.

"But there are real challenges confronting school sport. Factors like dramatically increased paperwork, a falling number of male teachers, and changing teacher attitudes to managing and coaching school sporting teams have made it more challenging for schools to deliver sport for students.

"For many families, taking part in a sports club can be prohibitively expensive: football boots, netball uniforms, and transport all cost money. It can be hard to find a coach to take the team.

"Too many kids in our poorest communities are being excluded from sport because their parents can't afford it. These are the kids who need it most. National is determined to turn that around.

"National will ensure that more of the government's sport spending makes it through to schools and sports clubs at the front line. We will be flexible in our thinking about how that funding is best delivered and distributed. Our guiding priority will be to make sure the dollars spent result in a measurable increase in the number of kids taking part in regular sporting activity.

"Over recent years, the various bureaucracies have grown dramatically in size. A National Government will bring the growth in these bureaucracies under control in order to shift more funding into school operations grants. Over time this will include additional funds for sport in schools and clubs.

"Every dollar the government spends in those areas is a dollar that could be spent on codes, schools, and clubs that have bats, balls, sports facilities, and gear ready to ensure more New Zealanders can take part in sport."

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