Our work at Sport Manawatū involves working closely with our communities to support them to lead healthy and active lifestyles. How do we do this? He aha te mea nui o te ao.

What is the most important thing in the world? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. It is people, it is people, it is people.

That is something I am passionate about, and the entire team at Sport Manawatū is too.

Working together plays a key role in our community’s success. In particular, we work closely with Sport NZ and councils across the region – Palmerston North City, Manawatū and Tararua – to support sports events and provide advice and resources to sports organisations, clubs, schools and community groups.

We have recreation advisers placed throughout our region who work in the community to support sport and active recreation. For example, our Feilding office is a satellite office of Sport Manawatū, contracted by the Manawatū District Council to provide advocacy, support and direction for sport and physical recreation in the district.

Janette Smith is our Manawatū recreation adviser and organises many of our programmes and events in Feilding, including the Run Ride ‘n Slide kids’ triathlon, the SportStart module and other community events.

Our Cycle Schools Training programme is one that continues to go from strength to strength. It is delivered by Sport Manawatū and funded by our councils. It focuses on creating a region that is a great place to ride a bike and supports our children to be safer on the roads by delivering cycle skill training sessions tailored to individual schools.

This is an important regional programme and I am pleased to have seen it recognised as a finalist in the New Zealand Transport Agency Bike to the Future national awards, which celebrates New Zealand achievements in advancing a more bike-friendly environment and culture.

It was also great to see another local programme, the Junior Road Safety Park, named as a finalist in these awards.

Working together to achieve our common goals is an important way to build a real sense of community and I look forward to seeing how both these projects do at the awards night in Palmerston North at the end of the month.

Beyond that, we have been lucky enough to host some significant secondary school sports events in the city over the past few weeks. I’ve watched both the National Badminton Team Champs and National Futsal Champs down at CET Arena. These events attracted well over 1000 participants to the city as well as their families and supports.

Ngā mihi – I look forward to seeing you out there enjoying our community.

Trevor Shailer, Sport Manawatu, CEO

Published in The Manawatu Standard and on Stuff