A bout of fundraising

Tauranga Te Papa Rotary Club members meet with Te Aranui Youth Trust staff at Greerton Police Station where the Trust is based. From left: Eden Cowley, Hamish Carmie, John O'Hagan, Tawhai Schuster and Tanya Grimstone. Photo: John Borrren.

Disadvantaged Bay of Plenty youth are to benefit from not one but two fundraising events to be held over the next fortnight.

Te Aranui Youth Trust provides at-risk seven to 14 year olds with the tools and personal support they need to succeed in school and life, and is grateful for the financial support it will be receiving

The Tauranga community is amazing,” TAYT spokeswoman Tanya Grimstone says.

Tauranga Te Papa Rotary Club will be holding a charity golf tournament at Omanu Golf Course on Thursday, December 3.

Prizes include a round of golf for four at Wairakei Resort in Taupo, a night away at Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort in Pauanui, Christmas hampers from New World, and restaurant vouchers.

Tournament organiser John O’Hagan says Tanya was a guest speaker at one of their Rotary club meetings earlier this year and impressed members with a rundown on the work TAYT is doing.

He says there are limited team spots still available for the charity golf tournament and interested parties can contact him on: 020 405 12710.

TAYT will also be the recipient of proceeds from a black-tie corporate boxing event at Trustpower Arena on Saturday, November 28.

Run by Bay Boxfit gym at Mount Maunganui the ‘BaseUp: Battle of the Trades’ will see 26 contestants from professions including plumbing, building, drainlaying, bricklaying and landscaping pit themselves against their contemporaries in three rounds of two minutes each.

Builders have been particularly keen to jump into the ring for a good cause.

“We’ve got quite a few of them,” Leo says.

Four women will be among the boxers donning gloves on the night.

The competitors have been building up to their bouts with an eight-week boot camp training programme at Bay Boxfit gym.

Corporate tables will include a three-course meal and drinks package, Leo says. General admission tickets are also available.

Te Aranui Youth Trust operates out of the Greerton Police Station and works closely with the Ministry of Education, schools and the police, to identify vulnerable kids who need extra support.

Interventions can be as simple as buying school uniform items, or arranging a food parcel, to arranging and paying for counselling if it’s needed.

It runs school holiday programmes during the year, 10-week life skills programmes during school terms, and a 'Breakfast Club’ at the Judea rugby club on Wednesday mornings.

The breakfasts typically see up to 20 kids from across Tauranga getting picked up by volunteers and coming together to enjoy a cooked meal of bacon and eggs before heading off to school.

“Importantly, it’s also an opportunity for a chat about whatever’s on their minds whether it be Covid-19, the Christchurch shootings or something going down at school,” Tanya says.

“The kids are a great group and deserve all the nurture and support they can get,” she says.

“At our core, we are surrounding these kids with positive role models so that they can break a cycle of offending, domestic violence, or benefit dependence – all of those things they’ve grown up with.

“We’re trying to get them to see a different path for themselves.”

Tanya says success looks different for each child.

“For some of our kids, making it through a school week is a phenomenal achievement.

“One of our boys has just been made a prefect at Tauranga Boys [college] for next year. He’s just going from strength to strength – he’s a great kid.”

For all those involved at Te Aranui, connecting kids to their whakapapa and giving them a sense of belonging is hugely important.

“A lot of these kids end up in gangs because they’re looking for somewhere to belong to, and the gangs give them that…we’re trying to give them something else to belong to,” Tanya says.

“Without people’s generosity we can’t keep doing what we’re doing.”

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