23 May 2011

Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust supports activity programmes for site-sharing school students.

The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust has donated $554,000 to help deliver programmes of sport, recreation, leadership, dance, and music activities for young people affected by the Canterbury earthquakes.

The programmes will be delivered through up to eight ‘Sport and Recreation Hubs’ managed by Sport Canterbury and in conjunction with schools. Initially, the hubs will be at sites in Papanui, Upper Riccarton, Linwood, Burnside and Cashmere, with other sites to come online over the next two to three weeks for students from Avonside Girls High School, Marion and Shirley Boys High School.

The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal was initiated by the Government in support of the people of Canterbury and the efforts of relief agencies and local organisations. On Tuesday the Appeal made its first allocation announcement, providing $3.5m to fix the city’s damaged sports grounds and playing fields.

Trustee Dr Rod Carr said: “The earthquake of 22 February caused major damage to schools in central Christchurch and the eastern suburbs.  Recreation facilities across the region were also badly hit. Young people have lost opportunities for sport and other extra-curricular activities.”

To support schools to rapidly return to operations, arrangements have been made for those from the hardest hit schools to share sites with schools that are largely undamaged by the earthquake. The majority of Christchurch’s secondary student population (12,000 students) are now involved in shared site arrangements. This has placed pressure on schools, and limited opportunities for students.

“Some schools are operating morning and afternoon shifts, limiting student access to facilities and grounds. As an example of the disruption in extra curricular activity, Cashmere High School (presently hosting Linwood College) has had to cancel its annual school production for the year.”

“Recreation Hubs will be in areas that maximise student access (before or after school) without the need for additional transport.  Access to facilities and venues will be coordinated to ensure all young people have a range of opportunities.”

Hubs will operate for approximately 2 hours per session (Monday to Thursday) for the remaining time in term 2 and for term 3 (19 weeks).