PM announces Pacific Sporting PartnershipsPrime Minister
Prime Minister John Key has announced a $10 million Pacific Sporting Partnerships programme aimed at getting more children in Pacific countries playing sports and making them healthier.
“Sport plays an important role in New Zealand and in the Pacific, and our region is known for producing world class sportspeople,” Mr Key says.
“Playing sport not only provides opportunities for young people, but it teaches them the importance of things like team work, hard work and fair play, and it means they are more healthy."
The programme will be delivered over five years in partnership with New Zealand Rugby and Netball New Zealand, meaning some of New Zealand’s top sports people and administrators will lend their support.
“We want to work with Pacific Governments and local sports bodies to promote active lifestyles and ensure young Pacific sportspeople have every opportunity to participate and make the most of their talents,” Mr Key says.
“The funding we have announced today will be used for participation programmes and to provide equipment and facilities, as well as to train coaches and referees.
“Initially it will focus on working with netball and rugby management in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and the Cook Islands, but there is potential to include other sports and countries in the future.
“In New Zealand we have recognised that encouraging active lifestyles and promoting sport at a young age is an important part of addressing the rise of childhood obesity and associated heath issues.
“This programme will help us support similar efforts underway in Pacific communities.”
The Prime Minister is currently attending the Pacific Islands Forum in Pohnpei, in the Federated States of Micronesia.