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Photo by Joe McMenamin

Naenae College Sport

Yvonne Manuel —

I read this quote the other day by Brandi Snyder “To the world you may be just one person but to one person you may be the world."

You may never know the profound effect that you may have made on a person’s life. A kind word and sometimes a firm word, a reassuring touch, or a listening ear can mean so much to someone.

To Volunteer requires a heart to serve and a belief in the potential of young people. You give your time generously to connect, provide support and encouragement and perhaps provide humor to show that the journey is about a partnership and having fun. You do this without any expectation of reward. Yet you receive the reward of comradeship with other volunteers who you may never have met otherwise. Lasting friendships, social activities and fun may be just some of the unexpected rewards that you gain from your volunteering experience. Sport relies on the goodwill of all, and a healthy partnership within the wider community of the School.

Please know that you are appreciated and valued .

An important part of many students’ lives is their engagement in sports. We know that that sports participation does not negatively impact student’s grades, but in fact for male students is positively associated with higher overall grades Furthermore studies show that increasing the number of times a week a student plays sports is positively related to higher mean grades.

Sport can also serve as community-building instrument not only for the school community, but assist in helping families connect with the wider community. Sport also teaches us teamwork – that every person counts, it teaches us the importance of fair play and observing code of rules. It sets aside our personal aspirations for the benefit for collective goals and it teaches us that winning or loosing can be done with honour – knowing that one did the very best of one’s ability.

Sport improves our health, it helps us to learn and it helps us unite.

It is important, therefore that students are given every opportunity to participate in sport. The challenge of course is the associated costs involved; access to facilities; students with English as a second language, to name a few. You, our volunteers go the extra mile to bridge the gap. Here are a few of the things that have been done this year to help resource and support our kids:

· The many carwash’s; organising chocolates to sell; & coordinating odd jobs around the school to provide the means for families to pay sport fees. Eddie & Cath preparing hangi during Matariki celebrations and selling samosa to help families send their kids to tournament week;

· Home visits to spend time talking and eating with families as was the case with Hamish when he took Mafa home after a rugby game;

· The 2nd X1 football team coached by Kim, aka United Nations team that reflects our diversity with 15 different ethnic groups represented;

· Providing conditioning training program on a Tuesday and Thursday morning for up to 80 kids during terms 1, 2 & 3 and providing breakfast afterwards. This was facilitated by Geoff, Hamish & Tanwen with chefs Shani & Whetu feeding the masses.

Let me take a moment to share with you some of the things that are in the pipeline for 2016:

· The Upgrade of the inner quad to include a multi-purpose court, turf & 6 netball courts with a completion date of April 2016. This will allow HVSSNA to run the weekly competition at the school and provide for up to 96 teams on Saturday;

· Introduction of Sports Smart which is a program based around performance enhancement and injury prevention. It is a 10-point plan that will provide a valuable tool for coach’s.

· Continue to develop our student leaders in sport through leadership programs offered by Ignite Sport Trust. Sport Leaders is a program offered to Yr 12 students with the focus on leading others. This will include a 2-day Funding has been approved for this program

I would like to thank you all for your hard work and commitment to the school and for the encouragement you give our students. It requires huge amounts of time away from families

It has been a fantastic year of sport with 369 students playing sport across 23 codes. This represents 52% of students engaged in sport at the school, which is represented by 207 boys and 146 girls. The national average for co-ed schools is 52%. I would like to acknowledge Ignite Sport for the leadership program delivered to our year 10 and 11 students. 13 senior students were involved in coaching teams. 88 students participated as a direct result of student coach’s.

I would also like to acknowledge Mr Russell and the Board of Trustees. I am grateful for the hours they have committed to the continued support of sport at Naenae.

We are proud to boast 4 regional championship this year, winning the senior boys touch competition ; senior boys division 1 regional championship ; senior boys rugby league team winners of the CSW Cup. We are very proud of our 20 representative honours at a provincial level and 4 at a national level. This year we had seven finalist at the college sport wellington awards and two finalist at the Hutt Youth Awards that will be held in December. Congratulations to Jennifer Feek on winning the Premier Award for Volunteer of the Year. Once again we have enjoyed hosting an international team, this year in rugby with a touring team from Canada visiting our school earlier this year. lt was a fantastic day of sport and celebrated by the community. It was a very proud day for the school. I would also like to thank Matua Teteira for the presentation of our grounds and facilities.

With 74 teams in competition this year, it was always going to be a challenge to get to games during the season; however, I am filled with enormous pride, standing on the side-lines of the courts, and fields alongside equally proud parents and supporters. Thank you for the role you have undertaken, driving teams to games, washing uniforms, taking stats, umpiring, coaching, chasing fees, patching up injuries on the side-line or in a few unfortunate cases, taking kids to A&E. You have made a significant contribution to sport at the school.

I hope that you will continue to journey with us into 2016.

Yvonne Manuel