Sport congress great but Mako’s missing
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.