Western Rangers and Maycenvale junior footballers at the Unison Junior Football Tournament last year.
Electricity distributor Unison Networks has announced its continued support of Central Football Federation by extending its partnership for a further three years.
Under its Greatest Supporter programme – which is now in its eleventh year of supporting junior sport – Unison has committed to financially supporting operational and promotional activities of Central Football through to 2021.
Relationship Manager, Danny Gough said Unison is excited to extend its relationship with Central Football as part of the programme’s focus of encouraging inclusion in junior sport.
“Our continued partnership will help Unison to develop closer relationships with more of our customers, while at the same time supporting active, healthy children in Hawke’s Bay.
“Playing sport brings people together, encourages participation, develops talent and contributes to the wellbeing of our regions, which we are proud to power and connect. It’s also a great vehicle for us to educate our young people on how to stay safe around Unison’s network,” said Mr Gough.
The three-year deal will see some of Unison’s sponsorship targeted towards coach development – particularly female coaches – which will help to strengthen the game in Hawke’s Bay.
Central Football Chief Executive, Darren Mason, sees the ongoing development of female coaches as crucial for strengthening and growing the game further in Hawke’s Bay.
“Our coaching and mentoring programmes will continue this year to build a solid platform for female players, which ultimately increases their involvement in the game. It was exciting to see junior female participation increase by 14% in 2018 – in both players and coaches – and this is a key focus area again in 2019.
“We are fortunate that our female programme is driven by local Football Development Officer and New Zealand U17 Women’s team Head Coach, Leon Birnie. His team’s success at the recent U17 World Cup in Uruguay will contribute to continued growth in the female game.
“Unison’s continued support will also allow the Federation to deliver additional and better-quality programmes, while promoting the game of football to a wider audience by being part of its Greatest Supporter programme,” said Mr Mason.
Unison will begin distributing around 10,000 Greatest Supporter kit bags in Hawke’s Bay for junior football, rugby, netball and hockey players during March and April as each sports season begins.