Taking a stand to improve youth sports

SPORT New Zealand along with five major sports (Cricket, Football, Hockey, Netball and Rugby) has announced they are collectively taking a stand to bring the fun back to sport for our tamariki.  

There is an overemphasis with Primary and Intermediate aged children on winning and early specialisation which is what is turning many of our young people away from playing sport.

Stefan Pishief, Chief Executive of Sport Gisborne Tairāwhiti says he fully supports Sport NZ’s announcement. He says, “I think it can be a game-changer for sport in our community.”

“We all have a role to play as parents, caregivers and/or coaches to encourage our young people to experience a variety of sport, rather than concentrating on one too early on.”

“This isn’t about reducing opportunities as talented children will still be able to thrive, but rather this is a movement based on long-term research, best practice and evidence.”

Nic Hendrie, Poverty Bay Cricket Association Operations Manager says the announcement is exactly the sort of initiative they are trying to promote.

Gisborne Netball Centre (GNC) has led the way by ending their year 7 and 8 representative teams in 2018. Kate Faulks, GNC Board Chair says, “We as adults need to be constantly reminded that the number one reason girls and boys play netball in New Zealand is for fun – this includes the top highly skilled players too.”

The Poverty Bay Rugby Football Union has also made a number of changes to its development programmes over the past couple of years, including shortening the junior club rugby season, removing the Under 13 representative team and changing the McDonalds Under 13 tournament to include a skills and coach development module.

Josh Willoughby, Poverty Bay Rugby Football Union Chief Executive says, “We’ve seen an increase in player numbers this year and feedback from our annual survey suggests an improved experience and environment.”

“We need to make sure we’re providing the best possible experience for children in our region. Finding the balance between having fun and winning can be difficult, but by putting the needs of young people first we can make sure they will have fun and develop their skills.”

Mr Pishief says the more young people we get participating in sports means a healthier Tairāwhiti and more young people reaching their full potential as adults.

Steven’s Story

It’s Men’s Health Week, so in the spirit of getting men talking about their health, here’s an inspiring story from one of the clients of our Green Prescription programme:

Steven used to spend a lot of time sitting, having sad thoughts. He was anxious and suicidal. In January of 2018, Steven’s doctor suggested a Green Prescription. “I was really nervous at first and it took a lot to go in [to the appointment] but once I did it was okay, Tori explained everything”.

At their first meeting Tori could see that Steven was determined to find a way to be happier. Together they talked about things that would help and developed a bit of a plan that he could follow. Today, Steven is a regular at the pool and continues to walk often. He feels happier, more proactive and understands his illness better.

“The older people in aqua are funny, mischief and likeminded.” “It’s nice to talk to people. I was shy before, I wouldn’t talk to anyone.”

Tori is so pleased for Steven, she has noticed so many positive changes. “He is the one who chats with new people who come to class, he helps them feel welcome and at ease”. “He smiles a lot, it’s such a great smile!”

When asked what he would tell others Steven says emphatically “just give it a go, definitely, just try it!”

Tairawhiti Maori Sports Awards 2019 – nominations now open!

The organising committee for the Tairāwhiti Māori Sports Awards 2019 have announced that the event will be held on 21 September at Te Poho-o-Rāwiri Marae in Gisborne.

Previously known as the Tūranganui-a-Kiwa Māori Sports Awards, this annual event was first held in 1994 and was the first regional Māori sports awards event to be held in the country.

The Awards are an opportunity to celebrate the success of our Māori sporting community, to further support their talent and to bring out the best in our athletes. It also provides opportunities for athletes to be recognised by talent scouts, which can lead to further sporting opportunities possibly through a national link and/or beyond which would then lead to better coaching and development opportunities.

The Chair of the organising committee, Athena Emmerson-Kapa says, “Our goal is to ensure that Māori athletes from this region can have access to the same opportunities as top NZ athletes do. It’s an important opportunity for our community to recognise the amazing sporting talent that exists in the Tairāwhiti region.”

The organising Committee for the Awards includes representation from Te Rūnanga o Tūranganui a Kiwa, Tāmanuhiri Tūtū Poroporo Trust, Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust, Te Rūnanganui o Ngati Porou, Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Sport Gisborne Tairāwhiti and community members.

“We have a good cross representation of local organisations and iwi involved and we all have a common goal which is to ensure Māori sport achievement is promoted and recognised in the Tairawhiti region” says Ms Emmerson-Kapa.

The committee are now looking for all expressions of interest from sponsors.

There are 12 award categories in this year’s awards.

Winners of the Awards will be eligible to be considered for nominations in the National Maori Sports Awards and the Bronwyn Kay Agency Sporting Excellence Awards being held in November. Nominations for the Awards are now open and must be received by 5pm 12 July 2019.

Click here to download the nomination form

And we’re off!

What a beautiful day to kick off the Titirangi Mt Everest Challenge! The maunga has been a hive of activity all morning, and already 100 climbs have been logged on the website.

Tonight, we’re holding an opening event, where we’ll have a group climb leaving Te Poho-O-Rawiri Marae at 5:30, followed by a welcome, blessing and a chance to purchase one of the new T-shirts at the summit.

The T-shirts will be sold for $20 cash only, and 100% of the sale is donated to bowel cancer patients in Tairāwhiti