Hillary Commission Young People First
spacer The Hillary Commissioners 1998 Coaches Count Active Living Funding Allocations

Issue Staying in Sport and Getting the Most Out of it

Teenagers today have come through the KiwiSport way of learning and need new challenges and sports opportunities. The challenge for the Commission and schools is to keep teenagers interested and active in sport. If they have a positive experience of sport, they are more likely to play on and lead active lives after they leave school.


Through Sportfit the Commission aims to involve more teenagers in school sport and increase their participation in club sport. Better sports programmes will give young people more sporting options. Most importantly, students will experience 'total sports' - not just playing, but learning sports administration, management and officiating skills as part of the Sport Leader Award. Sportfit gives schools a real boost, but in the end it is about the students. Results have been excellent. In recent years there has been a growth in the number of young women playing sport at school. This is an exciting trend and goes against the experience of other countries.

When young people leave school they need a club in which to continue their organised sport activities. It is important that schools and clubs work together to bridge the sports gap that young people may face moving from school into the wider community. Many clubs are able to provide schools with coaching and management, while schools can usually offer good facilities in exchange.While these partnerships have taken off in many places, developing them further for the good of young people remains a priority for the Hillary Commission.



  • 72,000 students in 110 secondary schools benefited from Sportfit funding partnerships. Each school funded by the Hillary Commission is committed to improving the sport served up for its students and the Commission provides funding over two years to assist this. 60% of schools now have formal links with more than four clubs.

  • Sport offers an opportunity to gain management and leadership skills. 30,000 students will achieve our Sports Leader award this year, giving them the ability to become leaders in the sporting life of their communities. The demand from young people for this award is twice what the Commission had anticipated.

ISSUE Keeping Young people Motivated
Young people are faced with many pressures at school and at home that can lead many of them - even the very talented - to not reach their sporting potential. Even worse, some drift away from sport altogether.

STRATEGY Hillary Commission Sports Ambassadors
Role models are a key factor in motivating young people. In 1997 the Commission appointed some of New Zealand's top sports performers to work with young people - coaching them in the secrets of success through goal setting and motivation. The ambassadors are all champions who young people enjoy meeting and whose stories inspire.


Two new ambassadors, world-class cyclist Sarah Ulmer and paralympic swimmer Duane Kale, have joined our ambassadors - cricketer Gavin Larsen, yachtie Craig Monk, boardsailor Barbara Kendall, basketballer Glen Denham and Silver Fern Bernice Mene. Our thanks go to all the ambassadors and to founding ambassador cricket legend Martin Crowe who left the programme after a year of great work. The Sports Ambassador programme is supported by the hugely successful Winning Women Role Model programme. The Commission has trained almost 100 female athletes in media and presentation skills so they can visit schools to discuss sport and motivate young women.

Sports Ambassadors & Great Role Models

Glen Denham Glen Denham

Tall Blacks basketball captain, missed the first six shots in his first major basketball game. He struck gold with the seventh.
"The harder you work, the luckier you get."

Duane Kale Duane Kale

Paralympic gold medallist and world-record swimmer, making the most of life.
"Sport gives young people a foundation and qualities they can apply to anything else they decide to do."

Barbara Kendal Barbara Kendall

Oympic gold medal boardsailor, developed sea legs before she could walk.
"The buzz of marching behind the New Zealand flag was worth every minute of years of training."

Gavin Larsen Gavin Larsen

New Zealand cricketer, began with a passion for softball and dreamed of playing soccer for Liverpool.
"You only get out of anything what you're willing to put in."

Bernice Mene Bernice Mene

Silver Fern netball captain.
"You have to enjoy what you do, because you never know what's around the corner."

Craig Monk< Craig Monk

America's Cup sailor, had to overcome a terror of the water before he could learn to sail.
"The friends you make in sport are genuine friends. You carry them with you for life."

Sarah Ulmer Sarah Ulmer

Commonwealth Games silver medallist. Sport is a big part of her life, but just one part.
"You have to enjoy what you are doing and keep your life balanced. You get out of sport exactly what you put in."



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The Hillary Commission for Sport, Fitness and Leisure
Te Komihana Haakinakina a Hillary
Our programmes are funded by the NZ Lottery Grants Board