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Sport Whanganui has had a busy first quarter for 2021. The team were heavily engaged with the Downer New Zealand Masters Games in February, and, in March, Sport Whanganui held the Whanganui Secondary Schools Athletics Championship.  Both events provided opportunities to support athletes from 12 to 94 years of age and strengthen relationships in the community.

From a broader perspective, Sport Whanganui’s mahi is providing opportunities for people to understand and work with the shifting paradigms in the sports, activity, and wellbeing sectors. A change in paradigm comes about by listening to the voice of a community and making changes to reflect that collective voice. We encourage you, when the call for workshops come through from the team, to be part of the mahi that can create change.

Ngā mihi

Sport Whanganui management

We’re gearing up our Voice of Rangatahi survey with a number of secondary schools across our region. The survey, which is running in Terms 2 and 3, is created and administered by Sport New Zealand and is a great way for our schools to hear from their students.

What does the survey cover?
The survey askes about students’ physical activity inside and outside of school, including what they enjoy about it, what keeps them from doing more and what new opportunities for activity they’d like to see.

Why are we surveying rangatahi?
Experiences during secondary school years can inspire a life-long involvement in physical activity. We want our rangatahi to have great sport, physical activity and active recreation experiences at school and the more we know, the better placed we are to provide opportunities and experiences that meet their needs.

How do we use the information from the survey?
Findings for each school are kept confidential to the school — the point isn’t to make comparisons but to provide each school a better understanding of the student experience. The information can be used to help integrate the student voice into their Sport and Active Recreation plans, as supporting evidence for funding applications and more.
We’re currently working closely with a secondary school to identify projects that can be done to address some of the findings from their 2020 survey. The survey provides an excellent jumping off point for discussion and ensures our work is being led by the needs of the participants.

Secondary School Principals or Sports Coordinators who want their school to be involved in the 2021 Voice of Rangatahi survey should contact Whitney Cox at


We are losing young people from sport , and consequently young people are losing the opportunity to develop a life long love for physical activity.

So, what do we do about it?

Sport NZ are working with the sport sector to provide quality experiences for all participants. This includes those who thrive on competition, and those who want to play just for fun. The focus of the Balance is Better philosophy developed by Sport NZ is on putting our young athletes in the centre of our decision making. Research shows the main reasons young people take part in sport is to have fun, be challenged and improve, be part of a team and play with their mates.

To help build the capability of the sports sector, Sport NZ recently held a three day hui in Wellington, attended by our Sport and Club partnership lead Aidan O’Connor. During this hui participants were exposed to the research and evidence on why young people are leaving sport. Along with this, Sport leaders from around the country left armed with the tools and resources to lead change.

Keep your eyes peeled for the regional launch of the Balance is Better philosophy here in Whanganui, Rangitikei and Ruapehu. Sport Whanganui are committed to upholding the core values of the Balance is Better philosophy, and working with sport leaders in our community to lead change within our regions.

Aidan O’Connor (third from left, front row) joins RSTs from around the country for the Sport NZ Hui. 
Photo credit: Thriving Kiwi Coaches
The Sport Whanganui team loved supporting RMHC New Zealand in March by taking part in the House to House challenge. The cause inspired us to walk,  run and cycle over 210km individually for the month, and we raised $11,479. This would not have been possible without your generous donations.
Thanks for being part of the team! 

Since 2011, Sport Whanganui have been facilitating Midweek Leagues for primary and secondary schools. Midweek Leagues are after school sports leagues that are organized to get more kids involved in a variety of different sports. These leagues are offered to primary, intermediate, and secondary school children. The leagues are offered to encourage participation in a give it a go environment.

Term One, 2021, was the final term that Sport Whanganui officially run the Midweek Leagues, as we are passing them over to the YMCA. Interestingly, Term One, 2021, has seen the most participation since the Midweek League’s inception. 26 primary school teams, 21 intermediate teams, and 34 secondary school teams made up nearly 600 participants each week. The volleyball league has proved very popular with female tamariki and rangatahi. Out of 591 participants across the Midweek League this term, 365 were female.

Over the 10 years that we have run the leagues, we have offered a variety of sports, including: table tennis, badminton, futsal, touch, canoe polo, and volleyball. It’s been rewarding to witness tamariki and rangatahi growing in confidence through sport and finding another avenue to make friends and connect. We wish them all the best for the future, as we do the Midweek League, under the management of the YMCA.
8 - 16 MAY

MDNIGHT BASKETBALL - Friday 14 May, 9.30pm - 12.00am
Youth Week 2021 – We’re Stronger Together
It’s time for some fun and celebration for rangatahi, 12 - 19 years (whanau participation encouraged but aimed at Youth). 
Come and mix it up with your friends and make new ones at Midnight Basketball: small sided quickfire games - three point, half court comps and 3 x 3 short games.

Adults will be present to ensure this is a safe and fun event for rangatahi.
Spot prizes to be won!

More Youth Week activities to be announced!
Keep an eye on theSport Whanganui Facebook page.
Youth Week Website

Whanganui Boys and Girls Gym Club has hit the new year running, with a record number of new members joining the gym. The management of the Whanganui Boys and Girls Gym Club now sits under the umbrella of Sport Whanganui, and Annette Cox has got her feet under the desk as the operations manager of the much-loved club. The team are really passionate about what the gym can offer the community, from toddlers through to adults, it about movement that is really fun and ticks the boxes on challenging our participants too.
The WBGGC has also had a great new addition to the club in the form of a new Suzuki Swift, provided by Gareth Jones, at David Jones Motors. The Suzuki Swift not only solves day-to-day transport, but it means the team can get out and about and tell the gym story.
On a more human note, a valued addition, although not new, had been the return of Leo Rodrigues to Whanganui this year. Leo arrived in Whanganui as an exchange coach in 2006, after attending Ollerup, the International Academy of Physical Education, in Denmark. From his position as Head Competitive Coach for six years, Leo moved to Auckland, coaching trampoline and tumbling with some of the country’s top clubs. Its exciting to have his knowledge and passion on the team, as recreation coach.
For more information on the Whanganui Boys and Girls Gym Club sessions, holiday programmes and birthday party hire, visit our website
From left to right; Annette Cox, WBGGC Operations Manager and Gareth Jones, Dealer Principal at David Jones Motors, Team image: Annette Cox – Operations Manager;Hana Haruru – Recreation Coach and Holiday Programme lead; Leo Rodrigues – Gymnastics for all Programme Activator;Kelly Taylor-Ward – Competitive Coach (doing the splits), Jenny Worsley – our amazing Administrator
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Sport Whanganui · Sport Whanganui · 226 London Street, Springvale Park PO Box 516 · Whanganui, Mwt 4500 · New Zealand

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