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New vans for Waicol sports

By Jake Beleski

[email protected]

Wairarapa College is pulling out all the stops in an effort to stop its star athletes moving to other schools.

The Wairarapa College Sports Foundation Charitable Trust recently raised $60,000 to purchase two new vans for the school’s sports teams.

Foundation member Gary Smith said Trust House had provided a grant of $16,000, while the Wairarapa Building Society contributed $44,000. The input from businesses had also been vital.

“There’s obviously a repayment figure on that, and that’s where all the local businesses have come in and are helping us pay the vans off. It’s not actually always businesses as such – but things like the Wairarapa College Teachers Association and the Wairarapa College Hostel Parents Committee both pay a couple of grand a year.”

They were being forced to look at alternative ways to keep the local talent at the college, Mr Smith said.

“Players leaving is a really big deal for us, especially in regards to our rugby team. We really want to stem the tide if we can – the way to do that is to make the college competitive enough and attractive enough that they don’t want to leave.”

A lack of financial assistance was making it hard for the college to compete with other schools in the region.

“We all sat around the table one day when we were on a sports exchange to Napier Boy’s High School and a discussion came around on how good it could be with a bit of finance behind it.”

New vans had been on their radar from the outset, he said.

“In the original instance the trust was looking at the big picture of vans and stuff like that, but the plan was also getting money behind the sports and upskilling coaches. We also wanted to look at sports uniforms and looking after all the grants that come through the school.”

Several conversations with Trust House had led to the realisation that things needed to change.

“We sat down and had conversations with Trust House and all the grant places and they said it would be really good if there was one organisation representing the school, and then they would get one grant application a year instead of 20.”

The vans were ready to go and would be in action very soon, he said.

“It won’t be far away – they’ve just come online this week.”


Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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