We grant funds to support organisations that focus on community participation and engagement in recreation. Targeted support will be provided for those organisations that are aiming to increase participation of people of all ages.

Our Community Stories give an insight into our own grant-making decisions.  These stories show the people from our community that benefit from funding. 

If you have a great story to tell or want to know more contact our communications coordinator


Multisport Surface

Last October 2018, we had the privilege of attending the opening of the Poolburn School multisport turf (tiger turf), with Central Otago Mayor, Tim Cadogan.

The new turf replaced a 20 year old cracked and decaying asphalt court. Almost a year on, we visited the students to see how the turf was performing. The turf, still the same bright blue, forms a significant part of the school children’s day, allowing year-round use. Many activities are performed on the turf, from netball to soccer, and tennis in the summer months.

While the turf is used by the school, and extensively by the children throughout their break times, it is also available to the public outside of school hours. A true community project, this turf brought many in the district together, donating time and resource to ensure the success of the project. It’s fantastic to see it getting put to such good use.


Hawea River Track

The Hawea River Track forms the cycle link to Hawea Flat, creating a commuter route and recreational network from Hawea to Albert Town and Wanaka. The track complements the Upper Clutha Trails network, traversing some truly stunning landscapes, opening up yet another picturesque area for recreational use by locals and visitors alike.

Central Lakes Trust has made significant contributions to the district’s cycleways assisting in connecting cycle trails through the region to form part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

All these trails create what is becoming a regional asset, linking communities, for us all to benefit from. Eventually 80% of the residents in our region will be within 30 minutes of a trail, making it truly accessible. The success of existing trails demonstrates the opportunities they provide our community, and sees the trust fully committed in this sector



Track Upgrade

Over 12 years of operation, Alexandra BMX Club had developed a track capable of hosting the South Island BMX event, having previously hosted this event in 2009 and 2015.

The track has served them well but was coming to the end of its life. An upgrade and modification was required to make it compliant, safe and fit for purpose, and to create an easy to maintain facility capable of holding future South Island events. The club also wanted to make the track available for year-round use, and to cater to the needs of most ages and skills.

The club has thirty families whose members actively participate in the sport, this forms a mere 10% of the tracks use, with the majority of use coming from local community accessing the facility.

The club have completed an upgrade and modification which again makes them capable of hosting South Island events, the next to be held in January 2020, bringing an anticipated 300+ riders and supporters to the district.

This coming season the club will also run a schools programme offering sessions at the track with a qualified coach to work on foundation skills with a competition at the end of the programme.


Queenstown Gardens Playscape

With the district’s increase in population and housing density, playground spaces become that much more important for the families of our community.

QLDC approached us for funding to assist in upgrading the lakefront playground in the Queenstown Botanic Gardens bringing it up to full compliance and in doing so creating a destination playground for a variety of ages and abilities; encouraging families to get out and about, and enjoy our outdoors.

To see if they achieved their goal, we took along some experts to assess the playscape facilities. Turns out, the sheer number of visitors appreciating and sharing the playscape, was testament to the appeal this playground has.

CODC’s Big fruit playground

Big Fruit Playground

“The senior play ground will go between the mini golf course and half basketball court, while the junior play area will go on the opposite side of the half basketball court, says Gordon Bailey, Parks and Recreation Manager (CODC). “We see this as a destination playground with different play items on offer than other spaces around Cromwell,” he says.

wanaka watersports facility

Wanaka Watersports Facility

"We are thrilled to have your support and appreciate the guidance given to our project over the last five years. Please pass on our appreciation to your Board and be assured that we will make you proud."

- Michael Sidey, - Chairman, Wanaka Watersports Facility Trust

Clutha Gold Trail

Clutha Gold Trail

"The Clutha Gold Trail is being greatly appreciated by the influx of users.... Our Trustees appreciate the very positive and supportive attitude of the Central Lakes Trust executive staff to the project, and their desire to be flexible enough to allow for access to the funding to get the project completed. The Clutha Gold Trustees wish to express their gratitude for your pivotal assistance with their visionary project. The Central Otago community is so fortunate to have the Central Lakes Trust."

- Graham Dillon - Treasurer, Clutha Gold Trail Charitable Trust

Arrowtown Bowling Club

Arrowtown Bowling Club

The Arrowtown Bowling Club wish to say a big thank you for the support you gave us in the replacement of our new bowling green.

We have had very positive feedback from all bowlers and visitors who have had the pleasure of playing on our new green.

- Heather Stirling, Secretary, Arrowtown Bowling Club


Alexandra Men’s Shed

Men’s Shed makes massive contribution to community

“The men of Alexandra Men’s Shed collectively provide free or at cost assistance to a wide range of community organisations and individuals, fundraise on behalf of other charities, and coach, mentor or support individuals in a variety of practical subject areas. The vast number of projects that have the Men’s Shed behind them, and the volunteer support they provide within the community is beneficial and well received throughout our region. To ensure the group can adequately accommodate the growing waiting list of members, Alexandra Men’s Shed is building a new and larger premise. This in turn allows the men that join to give back to their community.

The shed will be a community centre, a centre of excellence, and a hub for a network of in-community activities,” says Alexandra Men’s Shed Trustee, Trevor Goudie. At least 20 community groups were supported by the work of the Men’s Shed last year, just a few include; Alexandra Dunstan Lions, Omakau Church, Clyde Playcentre, Alexandra Thyme Festival.


Arrowtown Community Sports Centre

Centre to become valuable resource for community

Arrowtown’s growth and lack of community facilities means the impending arrival of the much-awaited multi-use Community & Sports Centre, will be well celebrated by community groups on its scheduled completion in September 2018.

At their roof shout on the 15th June, Simon Spark (pictured) acknowledged the Arrowtown Community Sports Centre located at Jack Reid Park is well underway. The centre will become a valuable resource for the growing Arrowtown community, especially as the Athenaeum community hall enters into its refurbishment phase. The sizable mixed-use facility contains rugby and scout stores, four separate smaller storage rooms for community groups, toilets, changing rooms and ablutions, kitchen and bar, as well as three interlinking community rooms that can be separate or open up into one large room, (seating approximately 150 – 160 people) and an exterior public toilet and will be a celebrated resource for many community groups.


Sport Otago Swim School

Teaching all our children water safety to save lifes

Drowning is the fourth highest cause of accidental death in New Zealand. Of the 104 drownings in New Zealand in 2017, 88 were preventable. We have had a 16% increase in drownings over the past five years. Supporting safety in and near the water by teaching our children to swim and water safety skills, sees benefit throughout the entire Central Lakes region.

The Sport Otago swim schools programme sees all primary school children throughout the Central Lakes Trust region receive 10 swimming lessons annually. The aim is to improve each child’s confidence and ability to survive in the water, and is a joint initiative between Central Lakes Trust, Sport Otago, CODC, QLDC and the schools in the Central Lakes Trust region.

Feedback commends the programmme. “I just wanted to let you both know how impressed I am with the current water safety programme. ...Even though my daughter has plenty of skills in the water, this programme takes this to another level....Having had children at The Terrace since 2005, the current water safety programme being offered, is, in my opinion, the most impressive and worthwhile yet.”