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.

Recreation Aoetearoa Big Day Out

Recreation Aoetearoa Big Day Out highlights exceptional sport and recreation projects

On Friday, March 1 a selection of sport and recreation community leaders from around the region attended the Recreation Aoetearoa Big Day Out hosted by Sport Whanganui and the Whanganui District Council.

The interactive session was a huge success with an objective to share experiences and challenges in recent sport and recreation accomplishments.

On behalf of the sport and recreation community Sport Whanganui’s General Manager Adam Gosney and Whanganui District Council’s Sport and Recreation Advisor Keith Smith put together a stimulating agenda for the day encompassing a group of presenters championing various sport and recreation successes across the Whanganui region.

Whanganui District Council’s General Manager Leighton Toy initiated the day with an engaging presentation on the recent Masters Games event. Emphasis was put on naming rights sponsor Downer, the economic impact the games brought to Whanganui, connectivity between the Masters Games headquarters and the community and the value of the volunteers who were the life of the games. Leighton also briefly touched on the Velodrome outlining the next steps to which includes engagement of a consultancy firm to compete a quality needs assessment.

The Mountains to Sea suspension bridge was another key achievement co presented by Sport Whanganui’s Community Sport Advisor Jimmy Hildreth and Whanganui District Council’s Park Advisor Rick Grobecker. Discussion points included the funding process, community engagement, NZ Cycle Way scheme and the infrastructure challenges endured throughout the journey.

Whanganui District Council’s Parks Manager, Wendy Bainbridge spoke on the popular swimming spot Mosquito Point and the return of the legendary swing after an absence of two years. Wendy guided the audience through the public engagement process calling for the return of the swing and the new and improved structure and safety requirements.

Sport Whanganui’s General Manager Adam Gosney led an extensive presentation on the Manawatu – Whanganui regional Facility Plan. Emphasis was put on the power of collaboration from central and local government, sport, funding, education and health sectors to develop the plan. “It was a great opportunity to have an interactive session with some of the sport and recreation leaders from across the central north island, the journey and complexity in establishing the facilities plan directly aligned with the theme of the day”, says Adam Sport Whanganui’s General Manager.

The recently built Community Sports House at Springvale Park was another great venture led by Sport Whanganui to which Adam Gosney also spoke to. The development is the number one recommendation of the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Sport Facility Plan with the intention of creating a “home of sport” resulting in long term benefits as well as immediate opportunities for the community.

Sport Whanganui’s Community Sport Manager Jodie Brunger spoke on the recently complete Community Bike Park recognizing key contributors, endorsing the power of working together to create and achieve locally owned visions and goals. Community consultation was another important driver in the completion of the park intensively discussed.

Norman Greubsch from Whanganui District Council’s Infrastructure Group presented on the success and bright future of the Te Tuiaiwi Cycle Corridor development. This venture has been fantastic for Whanganui with six more cycle corridor prospects approved to be completed. Currently Whanganui has 12 kilometers of urban cycle way with further expansion to come – watch this space.

Overall the Recreation Aoetearoa Big Day Out was a great success capturing the vibrant and ever developing sport and recreation projects across the region. Sport Whanganui and the Whanganui District Council would like to thank everyone who contributed towards the success of the day. To find out more about Recreation Aoetearoa visit www.

2019 Youth Empowering Sports Squad

Introducing our Youth Empowering Sports Squad for 2019! These students are a link between the student body and ‘Sport in Whanganui’ creating a formal platform for student voice to be heard and influence decisions related to secondary school sport. We are looking forward to working with these student leaders who are really enthusiastic and keen to make a difference!

** Some students missing from the photo.

Community Sports House near completion

Sport Whanganui is delighted to announce that the development of the Community Sports House at Springvale Park is near completion. Prior to the new build, Sport Whanganui purchased two ex Whanganui Masters Games buildings which are now part of the site.

The construction commenced in September 2018 and is due for occupancy in late March 2019. Shane Stone Builders have led the contract and Sport Whanganui is extremely pleased with the result, Sport Whanganui CEO Danny Jonas says, “It has been a pleasure to work with Jack and the team at Shane Stone Builders, the developments have been timely and to a high standard and they have kept us informed on the progress throughout the life of the project”.

The Community Sports House is intended to create a hub for community sport and recreation. Shared services will include IT support, access to health and safety and event management expertise, professional sport and health sector knowledge, reception services, vibrant interaction and collaboration of people and strong connection to Sport NZ through Sport Whanganui.

The Sports House development is the number one recommendation of the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Sport Facility Plan with the intention of creating a “home of sport” resulting in long term benefits as well as immediate opportunities for the community. General Manager of Sport Whanganui Adam Gosney says, “Sport Whanganui are a key tenant of the new hub and see the Community Sports House as further ignition to achieve Sport Whanganui’s vision of Whanganui being an active community participating in physical activity.”

Site suitability was extensively discussed, ultimately factors inclusive of; proximity to the catchment area and potential user groups, social impact – opportunities for integration with community and commercial facilities, visibility of site, accessibility for pedestrians, cyclists, motor vehicles and public transport, zoning regulations and local authority planning rules and restrictions.  An absolute priority is the sports house being accessible and inclusive.

Sport Whanganui’s CEO Danny Jonas states that “The Sports House will initially be home to the Sport Whanganui team and a number of sport organisations with access to sport and health expertise and relative services including hot desks, meeting rooms and video conference facilities”.

Sport Whanganui look forward to the opportunities and collaboration it will bring to the Whanganui region in the future. For further information please contact Sport Whanganui CEO Danny Jonas on,