Development programme helps girls succeed

By Jessica Tyson
A highlight of the course was when Olympian Dame Valerie Adams spent time with the girls. Source: Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust

A strength training and athlete development programme is helping girls from Napier Girls’ High School reach their full sporting potential.

The programme, run by the Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust (HBCFCT), involves around 25 students who have been identified as having national level potential.

Some attend it under the umbrella of sports organisations like Hawke’s Bay Netball, Basketball and Tennis.

Other sports the girls represent are waka ama, rugby, hockey, football, cross-country, athletics, sailing, cricket, orienteering, squash, kick-boxing, cycling, swimming and canoe polo.

Student Te Waia Nuku participates in waka ama and white-water rafting and achieved five silver medals at the world championships.

“I love this course because the trainer knows his stuff and we get personally assessed.  My programme is all about me and the fitness I do is all to help with the sports that I focus on.”

Health and Sport Development Manager at HBCFCT Marcus Agnew says it’s great that girls are getting involved in the programme and working on their strength training and athletic ability.

“Any increase of strength is an easy gain for girls. They are relishing it and they enjoy the gym training and it is going to have a direct correlation to how well they perform in their sport, he says.

“It also helps with injury prevention, especially with the netballers related to limb mechanics and leg strength, and helps prevent knee and ankle injuries.”

 Napier Girls’ Head of Sport Jo Owen says the course has helped the girls compete even better at a national level.  

“The Trust’s programme has really delivered and has added to our sporting programme at the school.  The high-performance training is an option for our top sports girls who might not previously have had an opportunity to extend themselves.”

She says the results had been noticeable with 18 girls from the school attaining New Zealand representative levels this year.

Teams attending national championships all did better than previously.