In 1997, the Hillary Commission established the Sport Ambassador programme with the following objectives:
The programme sees seven of the country's top athletes visiting high schools to conduct workshops with students who are high achievers in sport or leaders in any area of school activity. The workshops help the students with motivation, goal setting, and achieving goals.
- to help improve the sporting performance of young people
- to help young people achieve their goals in the sporting arena.
Maybe one of your sporting heroes is an Ambassador; they are:
Barbara Kendall, an Oympic gold medal boardsailor who developed sea legs before she could walk.
"The buzz of marching behind the New Zealand flag was worth every minute of years of training."
Bernice Mene, Silver Fern.
"You have to enjoy what you do, because you never know what's around the corner."
Craig Monk, America's Cup sailor, who 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."
Duane Kale, Paralympic gold medallist and world-record swimmer, who is profiled in this issue of Hyperzine.
"Sport gives young people a foundation and qualities they can apply to anything else they decide to do."
Gavin Larsen, New Zealand cricketer, who 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."
Glen Denham, Tall Blacks basketball captain, who 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."
Sarah Ulmer , Commonwealth Games silver medallist who was profiled in Hyperzine issue 7.
"You have to enjoy what you are doing and keep your life balanced. You get out of sport exactly what you put in."
Because the Ambassadors are all achievers in their own field, they are able to draw on their own experiences and can become inspirational role models for the students.
Schools can arrange to have a Sport Ambassador visit their school through their Regional Sport Director.