Sports keen to get together
Sharing resources should build community strength
About 40 sports groups have expressed interested in an Upper Clutha sports collective, to share resources and skills. Called the Upper Clutha Sports Community, the collective is being driven by Bronwyn Coers and Diana Schikker to make delivery of the area’s vast array of sporting options more effective and efficient. They have held two forums which were attended by a wide range of sports groups – from trampolinists to kayakers, and cricketers to rugby clubs. The forums found most sports clubs had similar needs, many of which could be met through better communication and collaboration. Upper Clutha sports providers faced specific challenges – including isolation, a small pool of volunteers to call on, limited sports facilities and a low, transient population but a large number of active residents. "Wanaka seems to attract people who want to get out and do things . . . it’s such a big playground, we want to do everything and that creates issues . . . but it’s a good issue," Mrs Schikker said. Since the forums they had identified five immediate pro- jects including developing an electronic form of communication where a calendar of training times and fixtures could be kept, training volunteers, coach development, a project to encourage participation through public "have a go" days and creating pathways for athletes to follow to develop their skills. The group would also be formalised so its leaders could act as spokespeople for all Upper Clutha sports clubs and it could apply for financial assistance from funding organisations. Mrs Coers said 10 organisations had contributed to a seeding fund to get the projects off the ground. A third forum would be held in coming weeks at which the suggestions for meeting clubs’ needs would be presented and discussed plus the governance structure of the group.
Sports together: Wanaka women Bronwyn Coers and Diana Schikker are in the process of setting up an Upper Clutha Sports Community to share resources and skills.