New multi-sport junior programme launches

A 12-week pilot to attract 1000 five to nine year olds into sport will include football, futsal, athletics and netball. File photo

WaiBOP Football has announced the launch of the Multi-Sport Junior Programme supported by NZ Football Foundation.

WaiBOP Football will partner with leading sports codes - Football, Futsal, Athletics Waikato Bay of Plenty and Netball Hamilton and Tauranga - over a 12-week period to entice more junior boys and girls age five to nine years old into sport.

The programme will run as a pilot for twelve weeks in both Tauranga and Hamilton from September 28 to December 16 2020 and aims to attract 1000 more juniors into sport.

The New Zealand Football Foundation through their grants process, are generously providing the financial support to enable this programme to be planned and delivered.

“The NZ Football Foundation is proud to be supporting this great initiative and we are excited to see up to 1000 new introductions into sport alongside Football and Futsal,” says Chief Executive of the NZ Football Foundation Dr Michele Cox.

The programme ensures that every player involved will have the opportunity to participate in four sporting codes, namely Football, Futsal, Athletics, and Netball. The delivery across the programme will be tailored to each participant’s stage of physical, mental, emotional/social, and technical/tactical stage of development in line with Sport New Zealand’s Balance Is Better and Keep Up With The Play campaigns.

The programme will last 12 weeks and be specifically designed to give players a fun taste of multiple sports that they would not normally be exposed to. Football or Futsal will run throughout the 12-week period in both cities alongside an alternative cross multi-sport.

Programme Lead, Cliff Harris, Football Development Officer for WaiBOP Football, has been working with the various representatives to bring the programme trial to fruition.

“In over 15 years in sport, this is the most exciting cross codes concept I have seen,” says Cliff. “There’s a great willingness from all involved to work together to ensure more juniors are being provided platforms of entry into sport.”

Cliff will lead an team of coaches to deliver the programme, alongside WaiBOP’s Tayla Baldwin, who will facilitate the Futsal focus of the programme.

“WaiBOP would like to also thank our supporting partners, The Soccer Shop and Fit4Football, for their incredible support,” says Dr Cox.

Registrations open, Wednesday, September 2 2020. For more information please visit:

WaiBOP Football

Waikato Bay of Plenty Football  - WaiBOP -  is the trading name of the Number 3 District Federation of NZ Football, one of seven district federations affiliated to the national body.

Established in 2000 WaiBOP’s aim is to lead, inspire, and deliver football in Eastern Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupo, Thames/Coromandel, Waikato, and Western Bay of Plenty.

The WaiBOP values of unity, pride, passion, and respect assist in achieving the vision of incredible performances on and off the field.

WaiBOP is based in Hamilton with satellite offices in Rotorua, Taupo, Tauranga, and Whakatane.

WaiBOP’s activities are many and varied but the primary priorities are to achieve the following key strategic goals of aligning, organising, developing, succeeding at, and expanding the game.

The Federation organises and coordinates four key components across the game; including the provision of a competition structure, player, coach and referee development, (including talent) and club/game support. It has a total of 11 full- and part-time staff with several Football Development Officers along with specific Futsal, Women’s and Referee development officers covering the region.

The New Zealand Football Foundation

The New Zealand Football Foundation was created initially with responsibility for managing the $4 million given to New Zealand Football for qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. These FIFA qualification funds are the foundation to which New Zealand football supporters and charitable donors can add their own contributions.

The Football Foundation is managed by a group of Trustees and a Chief Executive who are committed to growing the capital fund to a level where it can support the football in New Zealand significantly. The NZFF identify opportunities in the game where they can support development of football and to support New Zealand Football in their plight to have more players playing football.

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