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New leader for Kawerau sport
28 February 2015
New leader for Kawerau sport

TAKING THE LEAD: Tarawera High School sport and Take the Lead coordinator Amy Hayes is looking forward to nurturing Kawerau’s young female sports leaders. Photo Louis Klaassen D1738-5

 

HOME is where sport is for Amy Hayes, whether coaching her children’s soccer team or taking to the rugby field during her years aboard.

The recently appointed Tarawera High School sports coordinator is preparing to use this passion to inspire a new generation of female leaders as Kawerau’s new Take the Lead coordinator.

The joint initiative between Whakatane, Kawerau, and Opotiki district councils aimed to create young female leaders capable of taking on managerial, coaching, and volunteer roles to lead sport and recreation in Eastern Bay communities, she said.

Young women’s engagement with sports began to taper off as they moved into high school and on to tertiary education, she said.

Growing leaders needed to start in high schools where they had an opportunity to support younger students and become role models in schools – then their communities, she said.

“There is a massive gap for young women in sport,” she said.

“We want to give the girls the equipment to do it themselves, first in their schools and then in their communities. And provide them with the foundation and skills to keep sport in the Eastern Bay sustainable.”

Staff at Tarawera High School nominated a range of students across different year groups and with different skills to become part of the group.

“Sport isn’t just about the athlete running around on the field but about all the people working behind the scenes,” Miss Hayes said.

The Whakatane and Opotiki coordinators would work with their own groups of young women throughout the year and the teens would meet once a term for Eastern Bay wide workshops.

These included presentations from Olympic ambassadors, athletes, leadership training, and organisation and event management.

Term one’s focus was helping participants understand their own goals and what made good leaders. Once they developed this self-awareness the focus would shift to inspiring others.

“To be a good leader you first have to lead yourself,” she said.

Miss Hayes said participants could inspire other young people, but Take the Lead would be a success if it was able to grow just one girl into a leader.

Although sport and leadership positions were voluntary they offered other tangible rewards for teens, including potential NCEA credits, references, and experience to add to their CV’s, she said.

“Parents are busy so why not use teenagers to help fill this gap? They have time, they have the skills and they are closer to the players in age so the younger kids respect them.”

After years away from New Zealand traveling Miss Hayes returned to the Eastern Bay to raise her children.

Over the past few years she coached her daughter’s soccer team, which rose from bottom of their division to finish the 2014 season in second place.

Ms Hayes said she adored the team members like her own children and seeing their smiles at the end of the season was the best feeling.

“A team is like a family. Team sports for children, especially for girls are good for confidence building, anti-bullying, and self-awareness.”

After growing up in Whakatane Miss Hayes moved to Auckland as a 16-year-old to complete a tourism course but when she arrived in the city the course fell through.

She was determined to find work and walked up and down Great South Road handing out CV’s until she walked into a locksmith’s store with an apprenticeship available.

But the employer was hesitant to hire her because they had never trained a woman – no one had.

When Miss Hayes finished the apprenticeship she became the first qualified female locksmith in Australasia.

She travelled to various countries; in some places she worked as a locksmith and in others she bartended or took odd jobs, but always played sport.

Miss Hayes worked in a number of different jobs when she returned to the Eastern Bay before taking a role at Whakatane Locksmiths.

She always wanted to work with youth and sport so the roles with Take the Lead and Tarawera High School sports coordinator were the ideal combination.

 

Source: Whakatane Beacon

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