Sam Wilkinson by Supplied

Our coaches bring all the boys (and girls) to the yard

As we come into winter sports season, we'd like to introduce our stellar coaching line up, including a number of New Zealand representatives and industry experts with a common goal to develop our young athletes.

Sam Wilkinson - 1st XI Football (main image)

Prior to St Paul’s, Sam spent six years coaching in the UK and is one of the only Kiwi coaches to have worked in the English academy system.

Sam grew up playing football in the Waikato, he played at national league level for Waikato FC and Auckland City, as well as represented Hamilton Wanderers, Melville United and Tauranga City at regional level. While in the UK, he worked for a Birmingham-based coach education company, West Bromwich Albion Football Club as their under-14 coach, as well as coached in Birmingham City across all academy age groups from under-7 to under-21. "My aim is to develop a clear and identifiable playing and development philosophy and give every player a chance to reach their potential as a footballer.”

Sonya Noble - Open A Netball

Sonya Noble — Image by: Andrew Constable

Sonya has played national and representative netball with the NZ Māori and Bay of Plenty Magic teams as a teenager, and has represented Waikato and Riverlands in age group and senior national championships. More recently, as a coach, Sonya was the Assistant Coach to the Waikato Bay of Plenty Beko team in 2017, and has coached age group representative teams for the past five years.Sonya holds a Netball New Zealand Performance Coach Qualification. Her passion for coaching netball has also led her into developing her own business, she is Co-Director of ‘Pivotal Netball Coaching and Conditioning’, which provides professional netball coaching to netballers of all ages through clinics, small-groups, schools and private sessions. Sonya was also the High Performance Coordinator at Hamilton City Netball Centre, and was responsible for all of the High performance programmes, representative teams and coaches.Sonya has been the coach of the St Paul’s Open A premier girls’ netball team since 2016. As the Director of Netball at St Paul's, she oversees the organisation, resourcing, coaching, promotion and development of netball.

Reiner Vellinga - 1st  XI Girls' Hockey

Reiner Vellinga — Image by: Supplied

Reiner comes from the Netherlands, a nation renowned for producing some of the world’s top hockey teams in recent years. After finishing university, Reiner was successful in gaining a fulltime job as a coach.

He believes that by developing the individual athlete the team results will follow. This philosophy has led to several successes with Dutch regional representative teams, U18 club teams and senior women’s teams. Since he settled in Hamilton, Reiner has had excellent success with Midlands U18’s, U21’s and at NHL level and he was recently appointed New Zealand U21 women’s assistant coach.

Matt Rees-Gibbs - 1st XI Boys Hockey

1st XI Boys' Hockey Coach, Matt Rees-Gibbs — Image by: Supplied

Having specialised in coaching at tertiary level, Matt is qualified with a Bachelor of Health, Sport and Human Performance and a Graduate Diploma of Teaching from the University of Waikato.

He is a former Black Stick and has had a range of hockey coaching experience including the University of Waikato’s premier men’s team. Over the years, he’s taken high school, club and rep teams under his wing, leading some to national titles. “I have a good understanding of the phases of learning a skill which has allowed me to work with people of various ages and abilities. I can identify what type of coaching method is going to best suit the age and stage of a player.”Currently, he coaches St Paul’s 1st XI boys’ team, as well as the Waikato University men, Midlands U18s, and is working for Midlands as a talent development coach.

Cody Price - 1st XV Rugby

1st XV Rugby Coach, Cody Price  — Image by: Supplied

Cody has played premier and representative rugby here in the Waikato before injury turned his focus to coaching.Since then, he has developed a wide range of coaching experience including coaching Fraser High School 1st XV and Waikato U14, U15 and NZ Harlequins U17 representative teams and also coaching the St Paul’s U16 team (Waikato champions) in 2016.He is a qualified IRB level 3 coach who currently works with the Waikato Rugby Union as a Resource Coach and talent identification. Cody took up the position of forwards coach for St Paul’s 1st XV in 2017.

A full list of our coaching staff can be found here