One of the Kōhine Māia projects activities that was recently held was a yoga class led by Loren McPherson, with Mia Kinzett and Emmogen Brown. Photo: Jacqui Rawson.

New Sport Tasman project aims to empower youth


Sport Tasman has launched a new programme to provide opportunities for young females to be more active, build confidence and try out new experiences.

The organisation’s new project, Kōhine Māia, is about providing community connection for 12-18-year-olds to allow them to thrive.

“We’re passionate about supporting young girls to find a connection to being active that is tailored to them and their unique needs,” says project advisor Ash Cowper.

Sport Tasman submitted and received a grant from Sports New Zealand and are in the first year of the three-year project.

Starting in late February this year, the Covid-19 lockdown allowed the project to look at how they reach out to the girls.

It was also a chance to investigate what providers are out there and what they do in terms of youth engagement.

“We want to create the relationships between the organisations and the youth so there aren’t too many missed opportunities,” says Ash.

The project works closely with other organisations and schools and takes into account what the young people are interested in, what the barriers have been to undertake the activities as well as what new different things they’d like to try.

The project holds ongoing weekly events as well as running series and one-day events such as a skateboarding and paddle boarding days planned for November.

There are popup events such as yoga classes and healthy food workshops, and chances to give back to the community through beach clean-ups.