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Kuranui College is Wairarapa Hunting & Fishing College of the Year

December 9, 2021 December 2021 No Comments

Kuranui sport’s leaders with Kuranui Sports Director Kim Whiteman and Principal Simon Fuller.

Up against a strong field of nominations in this year’s Wairarapa Times-Age Sports Awards, Kuranui College succeeded in punching well above its weight to take home the coveted Wairarapa Hunting & Fishing College of the Year. 

The 2020-21 field featured local sporting goliaths Rathkeale College, St Matthew’s Collegiate and Wairarapa College, but it was the increased participation by students generated from Kuranui’s new strategic plan for sport that really impressed the judges.

The college is no stranger to innovation and it quickly recognised that it had to adapt its approach to ensure that every one of its students had an opportunity to participate. Led by Kim Whiteman, a former General Manager of Netball Wellington and expert in sports change management, the plan was developed and implemented in 2019.

The strategic focus enabled the college to increase participation at a rate greater than its school roll growth. That was an aspirational goal given that the college has experienced over a 20% growth in its roll during the same period.

The focus included: growing relationships with Kuranui’s community, especially volunteers, funders, and sponsors; the establishment of a sports specific component to the school website for parents and students; a Code of Conduct supporting students and volunteers; pride in the uniforms that are also provided free of charge.

Participation has not only grown within more traditional Kuranui sport offerings, but also in other sports such as smallbore rifle shooting, tennis, mountain biking, volleyball, girls’ cricket, chess, basketball and E-sports.

This has been aided by the introduction of Inspire Time in 2020. This initiative allowed students to try new sports and/or train during school time, therefore reducing the need to stay behind and travel after school, and included activities such as walking, cycling, athletics, tennis, rugby, smallbore, touch, netball, football, basketball, CrossFit and invasion games.

With inter-college events still on hold, Kuranui held house competitions that saw all students participate in either table tennis, indoor bowls or darts, along with more traditional games like tennis, netball, football and touch.

The strategic plan also supported an improvement in the school’s regional results. In 2020, Kuranui won Division 1, 2 and 3 of the Wairarapa boys football competition, the Senior B netball team won Prem Res One, while the mixed touch team, Under 15 boys rugby and 1st XI boys cricket teams won their respective competitions. In 2021 the junior boys touch team won the Wairarapa competition.

The 1st XI boys hockey team’s skills have developed to see them competing in the Manawatu competition, and the college’s netball team has returned to attending the Secondary School’s Tournament week, with other codes set to follow in 2022.

Kuranui College Principal, Simon Fuller, strongly believes that sport not only has the ability to bring communities together, but also helps to improve academic as well as health and wellbeing outcomes, especially for young people. “It’s awesome that the hard work of our sports team and the significant investment into sport is making a difference for our students,” said Fuller. “In the South Wairarapa, sport is one of the threads that binds the fabric of our community together. 

“We also know that students participating in sport is not just great for their physical wellbeing, but also helps to grow important life skills and boosts students’ academic performance.”

Individual students have also excelled in their sports, achieving Wairarapa representative honours in athletics, equestrian, cross country, claybird shooting, smallbore, swimming, hockey, rugby, netball, cricket, football, with a number of students going on to compete in Wellington regional and national competitions.

“The Wairarapa Hunting & Fishing College of the Year Award gives a sense of achievement and recognition for our hardworking dedicated students and the journey we have been on as a college,” added Whiteman.

“We thank all those who have worked to provide so many quality sport and recreation opportunities. A special thanks must go to our dedicated staff, community volunteers and sponsors at all levels for their amazing support of our students; especially given the challenges of COVID-19. 

The college is keen to hear from anyone who would like to join Kuranui’s team of volunteers to help with umpiring, coaching, managing, van driving in 2022.  Please register your interest at: https://www.kuranuicollege.school.nz/Sports-1/Sports-at-Kuranui . Click on ‘Register to Volunteer’.

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