Without any fanfare, or it would seem, media interest SPARC have decided to discontinue the Mission On initiative.
The Mission On website received many column inches of bad press in the lead up to the 2008 election when John Key criticised the expenditure on the website. SPARC, due to the political nature of their funding were ‘prevented’ from defending the program. Afterall, there was a high probability that they would be cap in hand to a National government.
And so it came to pass.
Unless I am mistaken there was nothing written about the website being removed. There one day, gone the next. Many thousands of hours reduced to absolutely nothing. The government, while accusing SPARC of wasting money on this website, have performed a greater sin in removing it.
The 28,268 children (as at May 13, 2009) who regularly visited the site, and played the games that taught them about how to play outside and build vegetable gardens and eat properly are left with nothing except the promise of new sporting equipment. A rugby ball or basketball is useless unless there are people available to teach children how to use them – in our decile 10 school there is no-one. I’m guessing that the National Party initiative will be as ineffective as they claimed the Mission On website to be.
It’s a tragic waste of money.
And here’s the notification on the SPARC website – a wonderful understatement.
Disclosure: I worked at the agency (but not on this account) that brought the Mission On website to life. I know the many many hours of research and focus grouping that went into ensuring the website would be a success for the young people that interacted with it.