Mercury Bay Athletics Club
After an overwhelming and successful first season of athletics which saw nearly 150, 2-9-year olds register with the club, a new bigger venue was required. This success meant the MBAC quickly outgrew their first home at the Mercury Bay Rugby and Sports Club [MBRSC]. The MBRSC were kind enough to act as an umbrella organisation while the athletics club began, and this support was critical. The decision to move venues and create a purpose build space within the Mercury Bay Multi-Sport Park also created an opportunity to increase the age of participants the club could cater for to up to 18. This endeavour was a significant undertaking and was only made possible by collaborating with a multitude of organisations. Within this initiative, an opportunity for further collaboration was created by several athletics specific organisations offering coaching workshops to cater for an older age range of participants up to 18.
How has your project benefitted the community?
This collaborative project has seen an opportunity for the multi-sport park to support the expansion of a local club while using local purpose built facilities. It has been heart-warming to see the connections made between people. Whitianga is fortunate enough to have some locals that have had experience and involvement in athletics for some time. This project has seen the formation of new partnerships and relationships. A significant benefit to the community is by creating more opportunities for more people. The relocation has meant another sport offering to the youth of Whitianga where traditionally there is a decline in participation numbers. As well as providing additional movement opportunities, there has also been more opportunities for parents/family/caregivers to become involved in the local club and to also upskill in the art of coaching.
Who are the key organisations that have collaborated on this opportunity/initiative/programme/project?
The relocation project required support from a range of organisations and community support.
These organisations include:
- Athletics Waikato Bay of Plenty
- Athletics New Zealand
- Thames Coromandel District Council
- Mercury Bay Rugby and Sports Club
- Sport Waikato
And a huge amount of local community building industry including Carters Building Supplies, Seascape Building Ltd, Coastline Excavation, RMS Surveyors, Coastal Engineering, Christiansen Cartage, Thomassen Roofing, WilsonCrete and Van de ven Builders. The MBAC also has an impressive list of local community sponsors who support the clubs vision.
What was the positive outcome of collaborating with other organisations on this project?
With the organisations working together, a wrap around of support was provided. Meaningful and long-term relationships have been created between the MBAC, organisations, and those involved. Each organisation offered specialist support, guidance, equipment, and hard work, which ensured the goal of creating a purpose-built athletics club. The collaborative approach to this project meant that the volume of work was shared among the community and those involved, to make the project more manageable. This also meant the cost has been shared amongst those who had dedicated their time and energy to see this project succeed. Each organisation involved was able to share specialist knowledge and skills to ensure a high quality of work completed to specified requirements. By collaborating with a range of organisations, the project was well thought out and designed as well as having the benefit of a range of voices to share ideas. As this was created in an already existing multi-sport park, athletes, families and the community will benefit for many years to come. This purpose-built infrastructure would have been unattainable and unaffordable to the club if it were not for the generosity and support of the organisations and community involved.
What positive results did your collaborative project achieve to help better sport and active recreation?
The creation of the infrastructure to a high specification, is fit for purpose for a range of activities, and has also seen the club expanding to cater for not only 3-9 year olds, but also participants up to 18 and beyond. This project has seen the weekly club night operate supporting the needs of all involved with the Mercury Bay Athletics Club. Whether that be the tiny tots and their families learning Fundamental Movement Skills alongside each other, the 7-10-year-old participants refining their athletics movement patterns or the 10-18-year-old participants continuing to engage in athletics. The expansion of the club and this project has not only increased sports and recreation opportunities for the children and athletes participating, it has also offered for more families to become involved with the club. The relocation project has also meant a greater range of events and movement opportunities with the club now having a full 400m track, a long jump pit, shot put circles, high jump equipment and also a soon to be completed discus cage. There is also long term potential to host training camps and high performance athletes.