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Student success celebrated

Student success celebrated

Ignite Sport students have reached new heights in their sporting success.

Porirua College old-boy, Akuso Tuitama (Kuso) is playing for Samoa U20 team in the IRB U20 Junior World Championships which began in Auckland on 2 June and culminates on 20 June. Joseph Baker-Thomas, another former Porirua College student, was a finalist for the 'Emerging Sportsperson of the Year' at 2014 Wellington Sportsperson of the Year Awards.

Both Kuso and Joseph attended Ignite Sport programmes, beginning in 2011 at Porirua College. They participated in Ontrack, Ambassadors and Sports Leaders programmes, with Kuso graduating end of 2012 and Joseph completing a Sports Leaders – Service in Sport project at the end of last year. During these programmes they heard the Ignite Sport messages of making good decisions, overcoming barriers and setting goals.

At the beginning of this year Kuso said Ignite Sport helped him recognise the importance of setting goals.

“It’s important to set goals, for training and what foods to eat. Before you start training each day it’s important to set a goal and before you play, set a goal to achieve. By the end of the day you’ll be happy with what you’ve done,” he said.

In February Kuso said his goal was to make the Under 20’s Samoan side. He’s done just that. Kuso’s dream now is to play for the Junior All Blacks at the Rugby Junior World Championship.

Joseph Baker Thomas was recruited to St Kilda AFL early last year. He is the club’s first New Zealand scholarship player. Joseph was part of an Ignite Sport Leaders group which delivered a new sport, speedball, to all pupils at neighbouring Brandon Intermediate.

He says it was a huge honour to be nominated for the prestigious ‘Emerging Sportsperson of the Year'.

Ignite Sport Coordinator Kevin Goldsbury says the youth development organisation is extremely proud to see these young men reach these achievements in their sporting careers. However the organisation was equally proud of every student it connects with.

“Every young person has the potential to realise their goals in sport and life. During our programmes we encourage and support young people to consider issues which might be barriers to their success. “We help them develop their sporting skills but also consider character, values and balance. With these prioritised there is no limit to what a young person can achieve,” says Kevin.

“At Ignite Sport we believe every person is uniquely gifted and talented. We work on embracing a young person’s passion and interest to help bring challenge and change in their life,” he says.

Currently Ignite Sport’s youth development and sports programmes are delivered to more than 600 young people annually throughout the Wellington Region.


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