Pictured: (L-R) Hawke’s Bay Federation Talent Centre players Anna McCaw (14) from Napier South Football Club, Brooke Calder (13) from Havelock North Football AFC and Oliver Berry (13) from Napier City Rovers.
Now in its tenth year of sponsoring junior sport in Hawke’s Bay, electricity distributor Unison Networks has entered a one-year partnership with Central Football Federation.
Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough said Unison is already a major sponsor of junior rugby, netball and hockey, and is extremely pleased to now offer support to football, which has seen growth of around two percent per year over the last five years.
“This partnership will help Unison develop closer relationships with more of our customers and better understand their needs while at the same time supporting active, healthy children in Hawke’s Bay.
“It’s also a great opportunity for us to deliver electrical safety messages to our young people and educate them on how to stay safe around Unison’s network. Partnering with Central Football will allow us to reach over 1700 children aged 13 (years) and under that we haven’t reached before,” said Mr Gough.
Along with its continued backing of junior sport in the region, Unison is this year focused on supporting the development of women’s sport. The company will help Central Football leverage the development of 20 female junior coaches in Hawke’s Bay throughout the junior football season (5 May – 25 August 2018).
Central Football Chief Executive Officer, John McGifford said Unison’s support will allow the Federation to deliver additional and better-quality programmes across the board. However, he sees the development of female coaches as a key to strengthening and growing the game further in Hawke’s Bay.
“Nationally female participation has slipped. So one of our key drivers is to understand this dip in numbers, address the issues behind it and rebuild, starting at grassroots level. Our coaching and mentoring programme will this year focus on building a solid platform for female players to increase their involvement in the game,” said Mr McGifford.
Mr McGifford said partnering with Unison will also support the sports’ ongoing growth by allowing Central Football to reach out to more people, through wider communication and brand exposure than they usually have access to.
Unison runs a variety of competitions and campaigns throughout the season to maintain engagement including the ever-popular Great Photo competition, Game of the Week competition and Half Time Heroes promotion.
At the end of the season the Unison Medal ceremony will be held, acknowledging parents, coaches and players. The ceremony will also recognise one outstanding player from each team who has shown work ethic, discipline and fair play throughout the season.