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Bowlers and kids win big

Martinborough Kindergarten children with teacher Allie Hiemstra. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Martinborough Kindergarten and the Martinborough Bowling Club were among the big winners when council grant recipients were decided.

The South Wairarapa District Council grant subcommittee heard more than 15 applicants press their cases for funding at the Waihinga Centre in Martinborough on Wednesday morning.

The kindergarten and bowling club were among nine successful candidates.

Kindergarten head teacher Megan Gibson was over the moon when she heard they had been granted $3600 to help redevelop their playground.

“The money will be used to develop an outdoor play space using a Te Ao Maori approach.

Gibson said the redeveloped area would include a wooden canoe, a flowing river and a bridge. Water would be pumped down the river.

“It will have a nice path and grasses and a place where children can go and explore,” she said.

“We are very happy to have received that amount. The project will now go ahead.”

Gibson expected the play area to be completed by summer on current projections.

Martinborough Bowling Club was given $4050 to help redevelop their green and upgrade the facilities.

Mayor Alex Beijen said the club’s award was well deserved.

“They have never applied before and they don’t receive anything else from council,” he said.

Keith Paddon, on behalf of the club, told the committee membership had grown enormously and the space needed work.

“We are going through a resurgence,” he said.

“We have gone from around 10 members to more than 120. We have increased from 10 to 26 teams. The state of our bowling green is just not up to standard.

“We have a long-term plan to go to an artificial turf.

“In the meantime, we need to upgrade our green. Martinborough Bowling has been here for more than 100 years, it’s a well-established organisation.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s a vital cog in the whole machinery of Martinborough.”

Paddon was pleased to hear about the extra cash.

“That’s good news. It’s a real bonus, it will help immensely.

“It will help improve our green and attract more members.”

He said work on resurfacing the green would hopefully start in May.

He hoped the new green would be ready by Christmas.

Other big winners were Wellington Free Ambulance, which got $10,450.

The committee noted the exceptional level of service provided.

Ambulances had done more than 1200 jobs in the region, which had a population of about 11,800 people, in the past year alone.

Martinborough Netball Club got $2200 to help buy junior squad uniforms.

The committee noted the contribution the club made to the development of young sportspeople.

“I think it’s positive, we want to encourage sport and it’s a laudable grant,” Beijen said.

Councillor Ross Vickery agreed, “It’s youth, it’s sport, it’s local. What’s not to like?”

Digital Seniors were granted $2000 to buy extra electronic devices for the elderly.

Sarah Wright joined the meeting by Zoom on behalf of the organisation.

She described the increasing problems the elderly had accessing internet-based services.

“A couple in their 80s asked me to help. They had been sent a link to a funeral video and had no idea what to do with it. It didn’t take long to discover their link connection was incapable of producing the required outcome.”

Wright said the couple had tears in their eyes when she sorted the issue out.

“Result, happy couple,” she said.

She said many seniors needed connectivity for reaching family and friends, and also for reading, banking and other things.

The Fell Locomotive Museum got $2000 to help with heating, as did Business Wairarapa for its awards scheme.

Catherine Rossiter-Stead said this would be the third time the awards scheme had been run.

“It’s a great opportunity to celebrate the wonderful array of businesses we have in Wairarapa.”

The Men’s Shed was given $2000 to assist with roofing, panelling and other repairs.

The Wairarapa Rainbow Youth Support Group was given $1200 to assist with running 12 monthly sessions.

The committee said although some organisations were unsuccessful with grant applications, there were often other sources of council funding available.

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