Significant cash boost for Counties Manukau clubs confirmed

Significant cash boost for Counties Manukau clubs confirmed

Community clubs in the Counties Manukau region stand to receive an investment boost in excess of $300,000 as part of the recent Silver Lake capital raising deal.

Applications have today opened for clubs to submit their request for the capital injection with amounts between $10,000 to $40,000 available per club based on each club’s registered player numbers over the past five years.

NZR General Manager Community Rugby, Steve Lancaster, said the distribution underlined the importance of rugby clubs to the sport.

“Central to bringing investment into the game was community rugby, and the recognition that clubs are a vital part of the game. This funding is about supporting clubs to grow and giving others some short-term financial stability.”

Lancaster added that clubs would be encouraged to focus investment across several key areas for the community game.

“We want to make the most of this opportunity right across the game. Alongside the Provincial Unions, we’re encouraging clubs to focus on initiatives that make facilities and environments welcoming, and get more Kiwis playing.”

Community rugby clubs are required to meet a set of criteria to be eligible and complete a submission to the CMRFU.

CMRFU CEO Aaron Lawton said it was fantastic that rugby at the grassroots stood to benefit from the recent Silver Lake deal.

He added that the Union was considering the prospect of clubs pooling their money into a joint fund but said that would depend on demand from stakeholders.

“We’ve held some informal conversations with our clubs about the prospect of potentially putting the capital injection into an investment with a view to the long-term,” Lawton said.

“We will now be asking clubs whether they wish for us to continue to explore that avenue or if they would prefer to receive the money directly.

“The money is theirs to invest so we will ultimately be guided by what our clubs wish to do.”

The Silver Lake partnership with NZR was confirmed in July and involves an investment of $200m for a minority ownership percentage in NZR Commercial LP.

As part of this, distributions to rugby stakeholders were confirmed, including $7.5m for rugby clubs, $2m into Māori Rugby, $20m into Provincial Unions and $900k to other associates.

There will also be a $60m contribution to a new Legacy Fund, an amount set aside to invest in growth, various investments across the game and the balance of funds after costs will form an injection in to NZR reserves to safeguard the game against any future financial disruptions.

NZR will provide more details regarding distribution of funds to other members and rugby stakeholders in the coming weeks.

The SSI announcement comes after NZR launched a new two-year initiative in July this year to strengthen community rugby clubs around the country.

The Future of Rugby Clubs project will identify the current and preferred future state of the rugby club system in New Zealand and provide a transformational plan for NZR to implement.

Applications for the club SSI payment can be found at the link below: