Boost to financing franchises in the South


The financial blow to southern sports franchises from Covid-19 has prompted further support from Community Trust South.

The Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel, Southland Sharks and Southland Stags each received an additional one-time payment of $10,000 when their respective three-year funding applications were approved.

Community Trust South chief executive Jackie Flutey said directors recognized the continued challenges franchises faced in the Covid environment, each affected by the loss of SIT sponsorship.

“We understand that due to changes in alert level, there have been restricted numbers of crowds resulting in reduced revenue and there has been increased cost in the continued adaptation to operate within guidelines. of Covid,” she said.

“The recently announced loss of a major sponsorship is premature and opportunities to secure new sponsorships are difficult in a struggling business community. While the Trust is unable to fill sponsorship gaps, this additional one-time grant will go some way to alleviating the situation.”

Netball South chief executive Lana Winders said the organization was “thrilled” the funding was approved with “icing on the cake” for Steel and community netball in Southland and Wakatipu.

“As a franchise, we’ve taken a hit to our revenue with Covid limiting the number of people we can have at games and SIT pulling out of their main sponsorship of steel,” she said.

“We have had incredible help from our partners and worked overtime to cut our fabric at reduced income. There have been many sobering conversations about what we can and cannot do. So hearing from Community Trust South that there was $10,000 in extra help blew our minds.

“It’s so nice to have swung the pendulum in our direction a bit. We’re going to extend that $10,000 to help us keep our heads above water.

It was a major boost in Steel’s quest to secure a third ANZ Premiership title.

“Our players need a performance environment that meets their needs and helps them compete and represent the south with pride. Along with a much-needed morale boost for the team behind the team, it will help us keep the essential elements of this performance environment in place,” Winders said.

Rugby Southland chief executive Steve Mitchell said the organization appreciated the continued support of Community Trust South.

“An increase this season for major codes to recognize the challenges faced due to Covid is further appreciated and shows how committed and connected Community Trust South is to the community,” he said.

Southland Sharks general manager Jill Bolger said the organization was “very grateful” for the additional support from Community Trust South.

“From day one they have been a huge supporter of the Sharks, both from a fundraising perspective, but just as important, in general, in the community. To have them step in like this means so much and really shows how much they are committed to our region and to organizations like the Sharks, Steel and Stags,” she said.


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