Clubs get cash jab from trust

GLENN MCLEAN
Last updated 05:00 05/07/2012

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Club rugby coaches are set to reap the biggest benefit from the latest Taranaki Community Rugby Trust payout.

The trust this week announced a distribution of $40,000 for 2012, of which $17,000 has been allocated to coach development at club level.

Ray Barron, chairman of the Taranaki Community Rugby Trust, said the idea behind the funding came from Taranaki head coach Colin Cooper, who believed there could be improvements made to the standard of coaching at senior club level.

As well as using the resources available to them in the province, experienced coaches from throughout New Zealand will be called on to provide specialist advice.

"I know a lot of it will be performance based. They [coaches] will have to turn up and attend the courses, we won't just be handing the money over willy nilly," Barron said.

The trust, which gave out almost $37,000 in 2011, has also allocated $15,500 to junior clubs, who will all receive $965, while a Rhino Ruck Machine has also been purchased for $2500 to help club players build their skill level around the contact area.

The remaining $5000 has been allocated to the Taranaki under-13 squad, which had been scheduled to play only one match in 2012. The extra funding will allow a second away game to be included on their itinerary.

"This year we've tried to work with the TRFU [Taranaki Rugby Football Union] to try and get some priorities around where the greatest need is for community gain," Barron said.

Within 3 1/2 years, the trust had established a $2 million business on its farm near Manaia, comprising livestock and shares.

Donations of livestock and a calf-rearing scheme were significant factors in that growth.

However, a lower-than-expected payout from Fonterra had reduced the amount of money it had hoped to distribute this year.

The feedback from junior clubs that received money from the trust's first payout last year had been extremely positive, Barron said.

"Some clubs were just grateful for the money, which had helped them buy jerseys because some were struggling just to do that."

The trust was confident it could distribute a minimum of $40,000 each year.

"The plan was always to distribute $100,000 [each year] but people have to remember we started with no equity – no shares, no stock, nothing – and I think over 3 1/2 years we've done bloody well to get to the stage where we're at," he said. "The support we have had from the community has been huge."

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