Sports leg­ends in­spire stu­dents

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By DANIEL WHIT­FIELD

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.

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