New Plymouth Rangers AFC is an amateur football club, with competitive and social senior teams and a large junior club, which includes pathway opportunities for players looking to develop further. The club also runs holiday programmes and a disability football programme.
“The club has been growing rapidly, and now has seven senior teams and 30 junior teams. Our biggest challenge is always available fields for all of our teams, and ensuring the quality of the fields. We really needed to move training off Merrilands Domain to limit the damage during the winter season and ensure that the surface was of a good enough quality for the games on the weekend,” John Sigurdsson, Club Captain, said.
“As a result of this growth, we have had to lease extra grounds per year to accommodate everyone, and the fields needed to be made safer. The cost of the project was too high for us to fundraise, so we applied for a capital grant.”
A grant of $35k from Toi Foundation enabled the organisation to undertake light upgrades at two facilities and purchase two new full size goals that can be moved around for training and playing purposes.
“The funding enabled us to create a great training facility at Te Mete Park with enough lighting to make it safe for our players. The grant also allowed us to purchase some training goals to be set up, which raises the quality of the training.”
“Directly, it has affected the 130 senior players who have a better facility to train at, and indirectly it has affected everyone that uses Merrilands Domain, as this is consequently a better playing field,” John said.
“Our junior football with over 300 members is spread across Merrilands Domain, Western Park and Merrilands School where we also manage and lease grounds. This ensures that, when teams travel here from outside of the region, they arrive at a high standard facility worthy of that level of competition.”