It was an action-packed day for 80 secondary school students, who attended the annual Sport Hawke’s Bay Development Day at the Pettigrew Green Arena in Taradale.
According to Sophie Hickford, Secondary Schools Sports Director, the event promotes physical development and encourages high school students to play sports, to enhance their skills and maximise their potential. “This year we took a holistic approach, talking to the students not only about the physical side of things but also about mental and spiritual issues. In doing so, we were able to give them an insight into what an all-round athlete has to deal with,” Sophie said.
EIT came on board to share some of their expertise with the students. EIT Health & Sport Science senior lecturer, Edmond Otis, gave a speech about resilience, and the ability to cope with difficulties and how to overcome them.
The resilience workshop was complemented by various other workshops, such as injury management, smart training and drugs in sports. EIT Mental Health lecturer Rochelle Clark spoke about player welfare, and EIT’s first aid trainer Di Reid took students through a practical session around injury management.
Other draw cards were local Olympic Hockey player Shae McAleese and Olympic Rower Emma Twigg, who also engaged with the students.
In the afternoon, representatives of regional sports organisations came along to give the young people a taste of rugby, netball, futsal, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and Ki-o-Rahi (a traditional Māori ball game).
Williams Colenso College sports coordinator, Tini Williams, spoke about the event being a privilege for her students. “It’s a great chance to bond with other schools and pick up leadership and sport skills which they can then bring back to our school.”
Kirsten Westwood, Head of EIT’s School of Health & Sport Science, supported SHB’s initiative as an opportunity to connect with EIT staff and to enhance skill development in youth. “We are thrilled to contribute to an event like this, to engage with young people and to give them an overview about the opportunities for study and career options available in the sport and exercise sector.”