Sports legends inspire students
More than 300 senior students heard inspirational messages from top athletes as part of the Aspire sports conference at Te Rauparaha Arena on April 1.
Students from Mana College joined others from 34 Wellington secondary schools at the one-day event, which was organised by Ignite Sport Trust and aimed to shape tomorrow’s sports leaders.
Caleb Cudby, a year 12 Mana College student, got more than just a day of motivation.
He also won a signed Breakers singlet, which was presented by the team’s assistant coach, Judd Flavell.
In congratulating Caleb, a basketball player himself, Flavell said he had also attended Mana College.
Students participated in break- out sessions as diverse as mental toughness with Melissa Moon, a double world mountain running champion; barriers to success with Paul Ifill, a former Phoenix professional footballer; and overseas sports scholarships, with Steve Willis, a high performance athletics coach.
Olympic medallist Nick Willis was the keynote speaker and stressed that students stay committed to their goals.
He told them how as a teenager he made the choice to train instead of socialising with his mates and stuck to his dream.
Aspire was a first for the Wellington region, and Ignite Sport co-ordinator Kevin Goldsbury said the conference aimed to teach young sportsmen and women about the values and character needed to lead on and off the field.
‘‘ We coach our athletes brilliantly and teach them all the sports skills necessary to be at their best on the field.
‘‘ But we must empower our young sports leaders – who will also be community leaders – to become great young people,’’ Goldsbury said.
‘‘We must help them make positive choices at an age when they are making some of their most important decisions.’’
College Sport Wellington executive director John Hornal said the conference was a tremendous opportunity for the young leaders.
‘‘For many of the young people present, being in the same room as the array of legends was a huge buzz and the learnings from them the bonus,’’ Hornal said.
Ignite Sport, a youth development organisation, will host Aspire for Wellington students every two years.
Caleb Cudby was presented with a signed Breakers singlet by the team’s assistant coach, Judd Flavell.
Olympic silver medallist athlete Nick Willis speaking at the Aspire sports conference.