The Kapiti Coast-based rugby league club has recently been given a significant grant of $150,000 towards completing the renovation of its clubroom in Otaki.
For 20 years Whiti Te Ra have had to put up with incomplete and unusable clubrooms. The club have made do by hosting visiting teams in a gazebo on the side of the car park. Now, the club have the funding in place to complete their home.
Club Chairperson Kelly-Anne Ngatai says that people have tried their best in the past to see the clubrooms to completion, but for many reasons this hasn’t occurred. “The time is right for our club to do a big push. We have the manpower and the enthusiastic people behind the scenes. Club members have been fundraising through donations and selling club apparel with a casino night planned for later in the year. The passion has always been there, it’s now time to walk the talk.”
The NZCT grant is vital to the club completing this longed-for project. “The support from NZCT is extremely important,” says Kelly-Anne. “Without their funding, a project like our clubrooms wouldn’t come to fruition.”
However, it’s not just Whiti Te Ra that will benefit from the new clubrooms. The renovated facilities will be available to the wider community and provide further access to changing rooms, toilets and hosting facilities for visiting groups to Otaki Domain. “Whiti Te Ra is a community club. It will be rewarding to be able to give back to our community,” says Kelly-Anne.
Whiti Te Ra is a proud club with 160 members and last year their senior men’s team won the Wellington Rugby League Final. The club’s number of junior players has steadily increased over the last couple of years and people connected with the club are confident of its long-term future.
Kelly-Anne says that it was overwhelming receiving the news from NZCT advising that the club had been successful with their funding application. “It has been a pleasure working with NZCT and sharing our dreams and aspirations for Whiti Te Ra with them. Communications with NZCT have been extremely clear and their processes very transparent. I can’t thank them enough for their support.”