Waitara Soccer Club is located in the heart of Waitara at Manukorihi Park. The club has been running for over 60 years and has a range of junior and senior teams. 

Neil Smith, Funding Officer for the club, said it was always a challenge to be able to replace equipment. “At the after match function, we feed our teams and opposition a hot meal, have speeches and select player of the day. It is a great way to show off our hospitality and club rooms. Sportsmanship is paramount.”

"We applied for the funding to get a larger oven, which means we can cook all the food together. It also helps when we hire the hall out."

“Our other ways of funding these purchases are with fundraising, such as raffles, but it can be difficult to get people to sell tickets. Last year, it was hard to get funding from Pub Charities because the pubs weren’t operating [during Covid-19 lockdowns]. We are very fortunate to have funding from places such as Toi Foundation," Neil said.

Toi Foundation provided a grant of $7,700 for the purchase of new equipment for the club, including drink bottles and soccer balls. There are 150 junior and 100 senior players involved with Waitara Soccer.

“The equipment is much needed for our community. We purchased balls for training in various sizes and match day balls for every team. We want to make sure that when they come to training, each kid has got a ball at their feet, to learn the basics first.”

“Our main focus is to get kids participating in a safe environment and learn to play fair and share values. It’s not just about playing the game. It’s being in a group and learning together," Neil said.