The Wharenui Gators are a basketball club based in the western suburbs of Christchurch. Their intent is as much on growing people in their 'catchment' area as it is growing the sport of basketball. They believe basketball is a vehicle to provide communities of high-risk young people with positive role models, physical activity and values derived from teamwork. They expose children, young people and adults to the benefits of working in teams and have a diverse range of ages, races, beliefs and economic background of individuals and families involved in the club. The club has a strong focus on giving people a development pathway as not just players, but also referees, coaches and other administration positions. This provides wider opportunities for people of all abilities to be involved and feel they can contribute.
The organisation has a strong track record over recent years around growth in membership and programmes. They have a sustainable delivery model, which involves coaches (young and adult) to take over the delivery of programmes over time. With strong strategic alignment to Canterbury's 'whole of basketball' approach, they have good relationships across the sports sector as well as strong engagement with local and secondary schools. They have strong governance capability and practices in place to track their progress.
Rata Foundation have funded the Gators through its Participate Focus Area. Through our funding we want more people participating in their local communities. Taking part in sport and recreation, cultural activities, or improving the environment can help people to lead fulfilling lives. We recognise people participating in their communities can have benefits for our health and wider community wellbeing. To learn more about What We Fund and our four focus areas of Learn, Support, Connect and Participate go to www.ratafoundation.org.nz/funding/what-we-fund