Trust helping youth achieve

An example of some of Aidan’s training with members of the Te Puna Rugby Club.

New charitable trust MAHI Performance is launching this Saturday at the Bethlehem Sports Club.

The core team will be joining the launch of the Hangarau Storm rugby league team, and director Aidan Butterworth says it will be a great opportunity for people to come down and find out more about what they can offer.

“The charity was established in October of last year, and we’ve been working to access funding, which has been difficult with the change of government,” he says.

“Our purpose is to create opportunities for disadvantaged youth and enable them to pursue their interest in sport and fitness. We provide a support network for them, so they’re likely to be more successful.”

Ex-military man Aidan has worked with other groups in the past, including Te Wharekura o Mauao and Te Puna Rugby Club.

“At the start of last year’s rugby season I ran a teambuilding activity for them to help develop their culture. It was a military-oriented programme focusing on working as a team – how to pick up the slowest man, for example.”

On Saturday the MAHI Performance team will be running activities to showcase what they have on offer, with anyone invited to attend. The trust has a particular interest in getting young Maori involved.

“What I’ve seen is a percentage of Maori don’t necessarily have access to the kind of training and services we provide. Later on this year we want to set up the same programme for special needs and disabled youth,” says Aidan.

The event takes place at the Bethlehem Sports Club, 243 Bethlehem Road, between 10am and 2pm on Saturday (January 13).

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