It’s My Move

The needs of young women are unique and different when it comes to sport and recreation.  Factors like time pressure and lack of confidence mean they gradually participate less and drop out of structured activity at a faster rate than young men. So how do we support them in leading healthy, active lives? It starts by understanding what matters to them.

Click image below to find out more!

The Mitre 10 MEGA Whanganui Future Champions Trust funding round is now open!

Wanganui has an abundance of talented young sports people who have the ability to compete at the very highest level; sometimes they just need an extra helping hand to assist them in achieving their potential on the world stage.

The Future Champions Trust is aimed at giving local people and businesses an opportunity to support our talented sporting youth with a “hand up” to reach their full potential at an international level in their chosen sport.

These youth are our future sporting elite, and creating tomorrow’s champions starts today.

This funding round closes 31 March.

Mitre 10 MEGA Whanganui Tough Kid® Canceled

Sport Whanganui is very proud to be the creator and host of the Whanganui Mitre 10 Mega Tough Kid®, one of the biggest tamariki events in the country. Each year we host three Tough Kid events across the region with participation numbers growing every year. In 2020 we had over 2500 students involved in just the Whanganui event alone.

We are very proud of the fact we were able to still host a number of key events last year, including the Whanganui Mitre 10 Mega Tough Kid® but this year we are faced with a different set of circumstances. Hosting any type of event under the current Covid restrictions is a challenge but a large scale event such as Tough Kid is just not possible. After reviewing the current Covid event guidelines and consulting with our sponsors, we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Whanganui Mitre 10 Mega Tough Kid® and Tough Teen event. We explored various options and held off as long as we could but with the Covid-19 climate not getting any better we have made this tough decision.

We would like to thank Mitre 10 Mega for their continued support as the main sponsor of the Whanganui event and all the other business and volunteers that had committed to supporting the Tough Kid this year. While we are saddened that we can’t host the event this year. We hope to back bigger and better than ever in 2022.

Volunteer Card

Where would our sports clubs, and recreational activity groups be without volunteers?

At Sport Whanganui and Mainstreet we like to think of volunteers as community champions. Hence the creation of the Community Champions Network, and the Volunteer Card is a part of that network. Sport Whanganui and Mainstreet businesses have collaborated to show our sport and active recreation community champions some love all year with the Volunteer Card.

Now being released, the Volunteer Card will give users access to special deals through businesses in Mainstreet. Des Warahi, Mainstreet manager explains, “We were approached by Sport Whanganui to partner with them in a Volunteer Card, and a number of our members have chosen to become part of the Community Champions Network. Local business owners understand the true value and many hours given to keep our community active and connected. The businesses are part of our social fabric, the owners and their whānau have the opportunity to benefit from the generosity of other’s time. The Volunteer Card is a way for businesses to acknowledge and give back. Here at Mainstreet, we love local”

Danny Jonas, Sport Whanganui’s chief executive, describes the outcome of the army of volunteers keeping sports and activities alive, saying, “Being Active can positively impact every aspect of our wellbeing. If we look to Te Whare Tapa Whā, a holistic Maori model of wellbeing that includes taha tinana, taha hinengaro, taha wairua, taha whānau and taha whenua, sport and active recreation supports the pillars and foundation of wellbeing with ways to get fit, build connections, understand our place in the world, and appreciate the environment we are privileged to have. I’m not sure if our community champions fully realise the impact their input has, but part of National Volunteer Week is to re-imagine the world of volunteering and I think we need to understand and acknowledge the deep impact this community of people has on our world.”

Volunteers who haven’t already registered for the Volunteer Card can do so by contacting their club secretary to organize registration. It’s a simple process, and once the Volunteer Cards are ready, they will be collected from Sport Whanganui by a club representative for distribution to the community champions.

The future looks bright for athlete, Tayla Brunger

The Mitre 10 MEGA Wanganui Future Champions Trust is delighted to announce their financial support for born and bred, talented Whanganui Athlete, Tayla Brunger. After a very challenging year, for a number of our young athletes looking to further their careers offshore, Tayla’s commitment to her Sport will finally see her taking the next step in the United States.

Her new home will be Colorado State University. Whilst Tayla has received a full scholarship, the support from Mitre 10 MEGA Future Champions Trust will greatly assist with travel to the United States. Tayla understands the concept of giving back to a community that has supported her through her athletic career to date and looks forward to eventually bringing her learning home to support other up-and-coming athletes. This was just one of the key aspects of Tayla’s approach to her Sport that impressed the Future Champions Trust.

Whanganui has a significant number of talented young sports people and the Future Champions Trust recognises that they often need a hand up to take them to the world stage. True talent is achieved through latent talent and a huge amount of hard work, and the Trust exists to support these young role models.

Philippa Baker-Hogan, Chair of the Trust, explains, “The Mitre 10 MEGA Future Champions Trust, has a goal to support our young high performing athletes to move to the next level of competition. The happy outcome is these same athletes then give their knowledge and learnings to the Whanganui community. Inspiring the next pool of up-and-coming athletes. It’s a great cycle of reciprocity that keeps sports healthy. Tayla’s persistence to push ahead and reach her goal, in difficult times, is testimony to her passion and tenacity. Her generosity, and enthusiasm to share knowledge with others makes her the ideal Future Champions recipient.

Tayla Brunger, 100 and 400 metre Senior Girls Secondary School Champion, at just 18 years old, is facing the challenges of a Covid-19 world with her upcoming departure. Tayla is unphased by the last 12 months and is confident about the future. Tayla describes the last year, saying, “Recruitment to   Colorado State University happened before Covid-19 lockdown. Studying and competing in the United States has been a long-term goal of mine, and I’m hugely excited. To be honest, lockdown made training easier. I had no problem at all with motivation. I could still train twice a day, but I didn’t have to get up early or training later in the evening, as I normally would, due to lockdown. Training gave me a reason to get out of the house and have some time on my own. There are a number of parks and hills near home, so that part was easy.”

Tayla continues, “I’m really thankful for the support Mitre 10 MEGA Future Champions Trust have provided. The Trust has supported me in the past, when I competed in Australia as part of the New Zealand Schools team.”

In August this year, Tayla will be making her way to the United States, a long way from home, friends and family. Tayla doesn’t know anyone in the States, but track athletes have reached out to offer their help and advice. Collectively, we can take our hats off to this young woman whose positivity and enthusiasm will make her a great ambassador for Whanganui, New Zealand, and the sport she represents.

Go well, Tayla, from the Mitre 10 MEGA Wanganui Future Champions Trust, and the Whanganui community.

New Staff Members

Sport Whanganui would like to welcome new staff members: Tania King, Louise Follett, Whitney Cox, Harry Unsworth, Phoebe Brown and Aidan O’Connor.


Tania King – General Manager

A former principal, member of our Sport Whanganui Board and COO of the International Flight School, Tania King brings a wealth of knowledge to our Sport Whanganui team and a passion to support our community improving the health and wellbeing of our community. We feel so incredibly fortunate to have her join us as our new General Manager and look forward to the energy and enthusiasm she will bring to the organisation.


Aidan O’Connor – Sports and Club Partnership Lead.

Working with our clubs and regional sport and recreation organisations is a key area of support we provide to our community. In the new year we welcome Aidan O’Connor to this space. Aidan has experience both in the sport and education sectors, having worked for Sport Wellington and New Zealand Hockey as well as teaching both here and overseas. Aidan has a real passion for sport and is excited to start his new role as the Sports and Club Partnership lead. His knowledge and expertise from governance, to facility development and event management will be of huge value to the team and our wider community.


Whitney Cox – Research and Evaluation.

To ensure we are keeping up with local and national trends and capturing the voice of our community, Sport Whanganui is putting significant time and resource into the research and evaluation of sport, recreation and play across the region. Whitney Cox comes to us from Whanganui and Partners and has a wealth of experience in research and data analysis. We are thrilled to have her as part of our team and look forward to utilising her skills and expertise to support and inform the work we do with, by and for our community.


Harry Unsworth – Community Activator – Intern

To give new graduates a chance to learn and gain experience in the sport and recreation sector we have established a new internship role. Returning to Whanganui to take up this exciting new position is Harry Unsworth. Harry has recently completed a Bachelor of Sport Coaching with Strength and Conditioning and Nutrition at Canterbury University. His skills and knowledge in the sports field are vast and along with his local knowledge he is a great asset to the Community Activation Team.


Phoebe Brown – Office Administrator

Meeting and greeting our visitors to our Community Sports House from December will be our new office administrator, Phoebe Brown. Phoebe has just completed 5 years at Whanganui High School, where she was involved in a range of academic, cultural, and sporting activities. She is articulate and has a real desire to learn and grow in this new role. We look forward to Phoebe joining our team and bringing her youthful enthusiasm to the front desk.


Louise Follett – Marketing and Communications

Marketing and communication are so important when you are working across so many parts of our community as we do here at Sport Whanganui. Louise Follett joins our team to lead our marketing and communications and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the organisation. Louise is also working with the Masters Games Team until February before joining Sport Whanganui full time in March. We look forward to the new approach Louise brings to working with our community and sharing all the wonderful work that is happening in the sport, recreation and play space across the region.

Mitre 10 MEGA Tough Kid

Our Mitre 10 MEGA Tough Kid® will go ahead as planned tomorrow. Any changes to this will be posted on the Sport Whanganui Facebook page.

Softball – Senior







Senior Women:                                                                                

D 1      Whanganui Athletic    vs        Linton


Senior Reserve Men:

D 2      Whanganui Athletic    vs        Braemac Reserves




D 1      Braves                           vs      Feilding


D 2      Mustangs                       vs      Linton





Ground Official        Lindsay Edwards

$366,356 of Sport NZ’s new community fund available in Whanganui region

Applications are now open for Sport NZ’s new million fund – Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa – for community-based programmes and projects targeting children and young people at most risk of missing out or being less active.  $366,356 of the fund will be available in the Whanganui region (including Rangitikei and Ruapehu) over the next twelve months, to be managed and distributed by Sport NZ on behalf by Sport Whanganui.

Tū Manawa replaces and improves on Sport NZ’s Kiwisport Regional Partnership Fund and now has double the funding available – $68 million over four years, of which half is from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package. Where Kiwisport only focused on organised sport, Tū Manawa will also fund play and active recreation. It also has a distinct assessment process for Kaupapa Māori organisations.

“We really want Tū Manawa to make a difference for those missing out, and that means ensuring this funding is supporting programmes and projects operating in local communities, based on the needs of those communities,” says Sport NZ CEO Peter Miskimmin.

“In the first year we have placed special emphasis on those tamariki and rangatahi whose physical activity levels have been impacted most by COVID-19, which we know from our research are girls and young women, disabled people, those in higher deprivation communities and a slightly higher age bracket of young women aged 19 to 24.”

To ensure it reaches these groups, Sport NZ is partnering with the county’s network of 14 Regional Sports Trusts to manage and distribute Tū Manawa and has allocated funding to them based on both population and deprivation modelling. The priority groups and funding modelling will be reviewed before 30 June 2021 to help inform the second year of investment.

Sport Whanganui CEO Danny Jonas says having $366,356 available in the Whanganui region (including Rangitikei and Ruapehu) over the next 12 months is a great opportunity to support those most impacted by COVID-19 by providing opportunities for them to enjoy the benefits of being physically active.

Sport Whanganui General Manager Adam Gosney is excited about the opportunity the Tū Manawa fund will bring to our region.

“The activation fund is a new way of igniting participation levels in sport, play and active recreation with the desired outcome of reducing barriers to those most at risk of missing out.”

Tū Manawa is available for both new and existing programmes and projects, and funding will be provided for up to 12 months.

Applications for Tū Manawa within the Whanganui region are now open on the Sport Whanganui website –


Sport Whanganui celebrates recycled sports gear initiative receiving 500 pieces of equipment

Sport Whanganui is excited to announce close to five hundred pieces of recycled sports equipment have been donated as part of the recycled sports gear initiative REPLAY.

REPLAY is an initiative designed to reuse and recycle sports equipment to create opportunities for tamariki to be active. Sport Whanganui lead the initiative locally, cleaning and distributing sports gear to local schools in the region.

Children receive a ball, bag, chalk, cones and instructions to allow children to create an environment to encourage them to be active.

Ross Kinnerley who proudly facilitates this initiative says, “It is a privilege to be able to create opportunities for youth to be active by donating sports gear ensuring it is put to good use and in the hands of a young person in need.”

To celebrate receiving close to five hundred pieces of equipment Sport Whanganui are holding a competition to celebrate this milestone.

To enter, simply donate a piece of sports equipment and write your name and number on it (example as pictured). Sport Whanganui will collect the details before distributing and the 500th and 510th piece of equipment will win a Sport Whanganui stainless steel drink bottle.

Sport Whanganui encourages the community to support this great initiative by donating to one of the designated REPLAY bins located at Rebel Sport, Hunting and Fishing, Whanganui High School or Whanganui Collegiate School.

If you have any enquiries please contact Ross Kinnerley at Sport Whanganui on 027 302 4042 or


Ray White Wanganui Sports Awards deferred to 2021

The 2020 Ray White Wanganui Sports Awards and Ray White Wanganui Secondary Schools Sports Awards have been deferred to 2021, with this years successes to be integrated and celebrated at next year’s event, scheduled to take place in November 2021.

To ensure achievements and contribution to sport throughout the Whanganui, Ruapehu and Rangitikei regions over the last year are captured, Sport Whanganui will still be calling for nominations in this qualifying period as per normal. Nominations will open on Monday 17th August and close on Monday 30th November. The nomination form will be accessible on the Sport Whanganui website.

Sport Whanganui are excited to announce that there is a new category to be added to the 2021 awards, ‘Masters Team of the year’: for outstanding performance by a team in masters level sport.

Sport plays a key role in maintaining individual health and wellbeing, bringing our communities together and keeping our community strong. It is exciting to see it resume after such challenging times. Sport Whanganui look forward to celebrating all successes in 2021.

If you have any further enquiries, please contact Nicky Malipaard on 06 349 2880 or

Final week to apply for Sport New Zealand Community Resilience Fund

It is the final week for regional sporting organisations and clubs to apply for the Sport New Zealand Community Resilience Fund.

The team at Sport Whanganui have been busy facilitating the fund and encourage regional sporting organisations and clubs to apply before applications close on Friday, 19 June at 5.00pm.

The Community Resilience Fund opened on Monday, 11 May to provide relief for struggling sport and recreation organisations affected by Covid-19. The fund covers fixed costs throughout April to June 2020. Regional sports trusts across New Zealand are responsible for administering the fund across their sport and recreation communities.

To date Sport Whanganui have received forty-two applications from sporting organisations around our region totalling over $100.000. We have received applications from a wide range of sports from flying to snow supporting a total membership upward of 6000 people.

Hockey Wanganui is an example sporting organisations that has received financial support and is appreciative of the assistance. Robbie Matthews Operations Manager of Hockey Wanganui says, “The Community Resilience Fund will go a long way to ensuring that we can provide a meaningful hockey season for our community. Covid-19 really hit our organisation as we had used all our reserves upgrading our playing surface last year. Hockey Wanganui is so thankful for the funding support and guidance given by Sport Whanganui in this process”

Sport Whanganui’s CEO Danny Jonas says, “The funding made readily available after such a difficult time has provided enormous relief to many sporting organisations across our region. We are grateful to be in the position to support and rebuild community sport through this fund”.

Organisations can apply for a maximum of $1,000 for clubs and $40,000 for regional bodies. Sport Whanganui’s Business Capability Lead Lucy Newton who has administered the fund for our region says, “It has been a pleasure connecting with grass roots sport offering support where we can.”

Applications close this Friday, 19 June at 5.00pm and the team at Sport Whanganui are available to support with applications face to face, over the phone or via email.

For more information and to apply visit Sport Whanganui’s website or contact Lucy Newton for any further enquiries on or 06 349 2320.

Sport Whanganui Youth Programme Year of Success

Throughout April 2019 Sport Whanganui partnered with NZCT and the Ministry of Youth Development to design and deliver a youth development initiative.
The objective of the Ministry of Youth Development programme was to provide rangatahi with opportunities that contribute to their wellbeing, build resilience and learn new skills.
Throughout the duration of the programme participants were exposed to a range of opportunities including leadership, mentoring, volunteering and sport and recreation activities.

CLICK HERE to read the full article.

iDMe contact tracing for NZ Sport

iDMe contact tracing for NZ Sport

New Zealand sports organisers are required to maintain a contact tracing log to identify individuals who may have come into contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

Traditional sign-in methods such as a manual guest book (paper/pen) or touchscreen iPad are not desirable since people don’t want to touch shared items or surfaces. Also, these sign-in methods can be cumbersome when a number of people may congregate within a relatively short space of time, since they can cause queues and delay access.


Sport NZ has created a $25 million package to provide further short-term relief for organisations at all levels of sport and active recreation. The funds have been made available through savings achieved from the reprioritisation of Sport NZ’s work programme in the wake of COVID-19, as well as the drawing down on cash reserves.

CLICK HERE for full article.


Given the Ministry of Health’s advice today that gatherings of 100 people or more should be cancelled because of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we have decided to close the Splash Centre tonight from 8pm until further notice.

Whanganui District Council CEO, Kym Fell has said “We will continue to monitor this situation taken into account all the advice and intelligence we receive and provide updates as and when information becomes available”.

Sport Whanganui Chief Executive Danny Jonas has said, “This Situation is unprecedented in New Zealand and around the world. Please take care of yourselves and you whanau during this time and check in with those around you.This is a time of significant change that’s likely to create some anxiety, which can be particularly hard for vulnerable people in our communities. Lets work hard to look after each other.”

We have not taken this decision lightly but protecting the health of Splash Centre users and staff is our number one priority.

We thank you for your understanding and we will keep you updated.