LIGHTS COMING BACK ON FOR FOOTBALL IN CHRISTCHURCH

Last year FIFA donated more than NZ$385,000 to the New Zealand Football Foundation specifically for allocation to earthquake-affected facilities in Christchurch. This week the recipients of this were named, with funds to be distributed as soon as final costs are known and repairs are underway.

The largest allocation is $250,000 to Mainland Football for a lighting project on a yet-to-be allocated Christchurch City Council field, enabling year-round flood lit development opportunities and games to accommodate burgeoning demand from players and their supporters.

CEO of Mainland Football, Mike Coggan, says players in the region have been severely impacted by the closure of QEII Park which was previously available year-round for development programmes and catch-up midweek football.

“This year, demand on the remaining ASB Football Park is such that we cannot accommodate all of our development programmes, federation trials and catch up games.

“We are working closely with Christchurch City Council to get their support for a new facility which, with the lighting facilitated by FIFA, will mean players have access to a flood-lit ground to replace what QEII offered.”

He says the other successful applications for the FIFA earthquake funds include Cashmere Technical, which will receive approximately $30,000 to repair the pitch at Whittington Avenue, one of the clubs six grounds affected; grants of $25,000 each to FC Twenty 11 and Mid Canterbury Football to repair damage to clubrooms; and $40,000 to Coastal Spirit towards its training ground flood lighting project at Linfield which will replace the completely destroyed Bexley Park. Three smaller grants to help with replacement of damaged equipment have also been made to Universities AFC, Burwood AFC and Mainland Football.

“Each of these projects will leave a lasting FIFA legacy for football in Christchurch and will be a permanent reminder of its assistance during what has been a difficult and stressful time for both the federation and its member clubs.”

The New Zealand Football Foundation, established with part of the prize money from the All Whites’ FIFA World Cup qualifying performance in South Africa in 2010, will be making further national distributions from its endowment fund in the next month. The NZFF awarded over $100,000 to 30 successful applicants in its inaugural grant round in October last year, with money going to a range of causes, including paying for expert coaching, improving facilities and talent development.

For further information:

Mike Coggan
CEO Mainland Football
Telephone: 03 355 3595

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