The NZMA School Sponsorship Programme, in collaboration with Olympic gold medallist Rob Waddell's organisation "Waddell," is already significantly impacting the lives of students at Auckland's Ōtāhuhu College.
The South Auckland secondary school have shared how the sponsorship, which was launched in April, has made participation in sporting and extracurricular activities more accessible for the students at the school.
Principal Neil Watson is stoked to see teams able to secure the right equipment and travel to sports tournaments.
“Just like NZMA opens up pathways for all its students, the sponsorship has actually opened up pathways for our sports teams so we’re really grateful.”
The 1st XV rugby and 1st XIII rugby league teams have particularly benefited, with the funding breaking barriers to participation.
Captain of both teams, Ipu Lutui, is pleased to see all members with the necessary gear to perform at their best as this wasn’t always the case.
“Some of the boys can’t afford boots or training gear.”
His teammate Sosaia Latu agrees; “the funding is just really helpful to the students and upcoming peers. Coming from a school in South Auckland, with our parents coming from the islands it’s hard to get decent equipment.”
NZMA CEO, Kylie Wilson says activities outside of the classroom are a vital part of the overall education experience.
“We believe every learner has the potential to succeed with the right support and care, and we are proud to be doing our bit by funding schools to give them the opportunity to participate in activities either at a local or national level.
“NZMA prides itself on being a community-first education provider, and we have been supporting learners and local businesses in the South Auckland community for over 25 years. This partnership is a natural extension of that.”
In addition to the sponsorship, Ōtāhuhu College students have had the opportunity to visit NZMA and engage in various programmes offered by the Category One tertiary education provider.
Student Daeton Gear says getting stuck in made all the difference; “Usually you would only be able to watch that stuff but I was actually able to get my hands in and it grew my passion for construction and so I want to go into that.”
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