Sport congress great but Mako’s miss­ing

The Leader (Tasman) - - SPORT -

Last week, 14 sport staff from schools across the Tas­man re­gion con­verged on Dunedin for the South Is­land Sec­ondary School Sport Con­fer­ence or­gan­ised by the Sec­ondary School Sports Coun­cil and Sport NZ.

The con­fer­ence at­tracted more than 150 del­e­gates from around the South Is­land to net­work and take part in work­shops, lis­ten to guest speak­ers and at­tend so­cial func­tions.

Each ses­sion had five workshop op­tions with a wide range of topics, in­clud­ing any­thing from in­flu­enc­ing se­nior man­age­ment, de­vel­op­ing and im­ple­ment­ing a school sport plan, gam­ing trust fund­ing to sports ad­vi­sory coun­cils – shar­ing the load.

The work­shops were in­ter­ac­tive and many in­cluded pre­sen­ta­tions from school sport co-or­di­na­tors, who spoke about ex­am­ples from their schools.

Mark Cochrane, from Nel­son Col­lege, shared his Nel­son Col­lege Sport Face­book page dur­ing the ‘‘Us­ing So­cial Me­dia’’ workshop and Nay­land Col­lege’s Bren­dan Crich­ton shared his knowl­edge dur­ing the ‘‘Or­gan­is­ing School Sport Tours’’.

Sec­ondary schools re­gional sports di­rec­tor for Tas­man, Sha­nine Hermsen, who helped fa­cil­i­tate the con­fer­ence, said the net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties were in­valu­able and the par­tic­i­pants thrived on in­ter­act­ing with col­leagues.

‘‘They all share the same ad­van­tages and chal­lenges, so get­ting them in the same room like this they were just buzzing with ideas and in­spi­ra­tion,’’ she said.

‘‘There was a lot for them to take in and there are so many ideas for them to take back to their home en­vi­ron­ments.’’

The rec­om­men­da­tion in the con­fer­ence’s clos­ing ad­dress from coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Garry Car­nachan was to pick one or two key projects with the best ‘‘bang for buck’’ rather than try to im­ple­ment ev­ery idea from the get-go.

So now it’s up to each in­di­vid­ual in their school as to where they can make the most im­pact in their own school com­mu­nity.

Hermsen was look­ing for­ward to sup­port­ing schools with the im­ple­men­ta­tion of their ideas and can see that sev­eral projects will de­velop from the con­fer­ence.

The team of Tas­man at­ten­ders were pre­sented with a con­fer­ence mas­cot named ‘‘Mako’’ by Hermsen in the form of a plas­tic shark. Af­ter a fun day out in Dunedin, fol­lowed by a visit to watch the rugby at the Oc­tagon and a stroll through Dunedin and at­tend­ing the con­fer­ence din­ner, Mako sadly went miss­ing.

He was last seen at the Al­ham­bra Rugby Club rooms and is now thought to be in the hands of a scarfie – sight­ings should be re­ported to the coun­cil and there is a re­ward for his re­turn.

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