New Zealand gives sports sector $157m boost to get through Covid-19
New Zealand's Finance Minister Grant Robertson speaks to the media during a press conference with the prime minister one day before the country goes on lockdown to stop any progress of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at Parliament in Wellington on March 24, 2020.
Image: Marty MELVILLE / AFP
New Zealand's struggling sports sector has received a $157m injection from the government to help it mitigate some of the worst financial effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Sports Minister Grant Robertson said on Sunday.
Robertson, who is also New Zealand's finance minister and delivered the national budget on Thursday, said funding and revenue had dried up for nearly all sports organisations and that they were under "immense strain".
"We are providing the support needed to sports at all levels to remain viable, get stronger and adapt," Robertson said in the post-budget statement.
"We have also seen many of our professional sports and athletes struggle as competitions have been cancelled or suspended. Budget 2020 will provide some assistance, so they can keep competing."Dortmund explode into action as Bundesliga restarts with no fansBorussia Dortmund provided much-needed fireworks with a 4-0 demolition of bitter rivals Schalke 04 on Saturday after the German league restarted in ...Sport1 hour ago
The funding would be spread over four years, with NZ$83 million made immediately available for "short-term support".
A further NZ$104 million would be available in the medium term to help the sector rebuild, while the remaining NZ$78 million would be for the development of new programmes that help communities get back into activity and recreation.
All levels of organised sport have been on hold since March when New Zealand went into a national lockdown to attempt to contain the spread of the disease, restricting exercise to walking, running or cycling alone.Early goals help Borussia Moenchengladbach sink FrankfurtBorussia Moenchengladbach boosted their hopes of winning a first Bundesliga title since 1977 after early goals from Alassane Plea and Marcus Thuram ...Sport46 minutes ago
The government loosened restrictions in April and then eased them further on Thursday, allowing the resumption of professional sport, although fans will not be able to attend matches.
Community and club sports competitions are still on hold, with organisations told by government body Sports NZ to enter a "get ready" phase to prepare for a return.
Health officials reported one new coronavirus infection on Sunday, bringing the total to 1,499, of which 1,149 are confirmed. Only 45 are still considered active cases.
There have been 21 deaths from Covid-19, the disease caused by the new virus.
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