Tom Cowie playing for the Southland Sharks against the Taranaki Mountain Airs at ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill.
The Community Trust South has stepped in to offer an added financial boost to Southland’s three professional sporting teams.
Community Trust South has handed the Southland Sharks, Southern Steel, and Southland Stags an additional one off $10,000 payment when their respective three-yearly funding applications were approved.
Community Trust South general manager Jackie Flutey said the trustees made the decision following the challenges operating in the Covid environment, as well as the Southern Institute of Technology’s decision to withdraw its sponsorship of all three teams.
“We understand that because of alert level changes, there have been restricted crowd numbers resulting in reduced revenue and there has been increased costs in ongoing adaptation to operate within Covid guidelines,” she said.
“The recently announced loss of major sponsorship is untimely with opportunities to secure new sponsorship difficult in a struggling business community.
“While the Trust is not in a position to plug the gaps in sponsorship, this additional one-off grant will go some way towards mitigating the situation.”
Netball South chief executive Lana Winders said the organisation was “delighted” to have funding approved with a “cherry on top” for the Steel and community netball in Southland and Wakatipu.
“As a franchise, we have been taking some blows to our revenue with Covid restricting the number of people we can have at games and SIT pulling back from their major sponsorship of the Steel,” she said.
Rugby Southland general manager Steve Mitchell said the organisation appreciated the ongoing support from Community Trust South.
Southland Sharks general manager Jill Bolger said the organisation was “so thankful” for Community Trust South’s additional support.