Incredible demand has prompted ANZ New Zealand to double the amount of funding available to help Kiwi kids pay their club cricket fees.
A total of 1327 kids from 175 clubs across New Zealand have been awarded an ANZ Cricket Grant fee subsidy, receiving up to $80 to help them pay club fees.
Initially, $50,000 was available through the fund - but high demand prompted ANZ to double the kitty to $100,000, so even more kids could benefit.
For some families, that financial support can be the difference between kids either playing cricket this summer, or sitting on the side-line.
ANZ has been helping New Zealanders play their favourite summer game for almost 23 years now, contributing more than $1.6 million to keeping communities in the game.
ANZ New Zealand CEO Antonia Watson says, with household budgets tightening, the bank was glad to be able to provide the opportunity for many children to get to the crease.
“It’s not a Kiwi summer without cricket, and we wanted to make sure as many kids as possible can take part,” Ms Watson says.
“We know some families are doing it tough right now, and fees can be a barrier to children playing sport - that’s why we doubled the money on offer to help even more families pay their kids’ club fees, and get them on the field this summer.”
New Zealand Cricket GM of Community Cricket Kent Stead says ANZ’s support will ensure hundreds of kids won’t miss out on the benefits that team sport brings.
“The love of cricket is alive and well among Kiwi kids,” Mr Stead says.
“We’re thrilled that families who might not have thought it possible for their children to play this season have been given the support they need to join in.”