Success stories

Football Connect

Over the last year, the New Zealand Football Foundation has worked with YouthTown New Zealand to create the Football Connect Initiative. In 2022, Football Connect has strengthened and expanded. The Foundation and Youth Town will now be able to offer our support to a larger number of kiwi kids who will be able to experience the benefits of football and team sports.

Football Connect is all about access. At the Football Foundation we believe that sport, and its health and social benefits, should be available to all young people regardless of who they are or where they live. But this is an ideal that has not been reached in Aotearoa for a long time. Before a young person takes to the pitch at the weekend, there are club fees that need to be paid, boots and equipment to be purchased, transport to be organised, and time on a Saturday to be found. For many families, these barriers result in sport becoming a luxury.

These hurdles have only increased in recent times. After three years of pandemic disruption, youth participation in sport is declining as the cost of living sharply increases. We know that for many families, the costs of sport are no longer able to be borne. We want to do everything we can to help.

From the very beginning, Football Connect has worked to remove barriers. Fees are paid where possible, equipment and coaching are provided, and life skill sessions accompany football training to help support young people and their families. The school holiday programmes provide an opportunity for kids to meet and socialise with peers beyond their immediate surroundings and get a taste for football before they can play at the weekends.

The impact of the programme has been visible and inspiring from the outset. This year, as access to sport becomes more difficult for many, Football Connect is expanding.

In 2022, Football Connect will have financial support from the New Zealand Police fund, as part of an initiative to redistribute profits from organised crime to community programmes for social good.  The Police want to support programmes which help create positive environments for young people, so that their support networks help carry them through to a successful life on whatever path they choose.  We are grateful that the Police see and support the benefits of football to do real good in our communities, helping our rangitahi achieve their potential – whether on the pitch, or off.

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Our Partners & Supporters

Every team needs supporters.  At the New Zealand Football Foundation we are so grateful for our partners who believe in Football For Good just as much as we do. They know the power of sport to make real change in society and they are committed to helping us do the māhi to support our communities.  The generosity of our partners is crucial to enable us to support so many worthy projects.  

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