Kia ora, my name is Yvaan Hapuku-Lambert and I am one of the graduates in the Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa Graduate Programme for 2021-2022.
Born and raised in Hawkes Bay, sport and physical activity has always been a big part of my everyday life right from a young age. During my time at High School, I was fortunate to gain opportunities to coach my former primary and intermediate schools in a range of sports. From these experiences I studied and completed my Bachelors of Sport and Recreation with a double major in Health and Physical Education and Coaching at Auckland University of Technology (AUT).
After studying I always had the attention to apply for the Graduate Programme as I felt it would be a great opportunity to grow both personally and professionally while gaining further knowledge on how the sector operated. Naturally growing up I thought I would end up becoming a PE teacher but thought why limit the impact I can have on one school or a certain age group when there was an opportunity to make a bigger difference on a larger scale with Sport NZ.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first year with Sport NZ and am extremely grateful to be a part of the Graduate Programme. The ability to work across multiple teams within Sport NZ and have ownership over which projects you are involved in made it such a unique experience to be a part of. I was provided opportunities to lead key projects which helped me being challenged, to grow and to network with people from all across the country within the wider sector. Some key highlights of my year were being apart of the Sport NZ Women and Girls Summit Governance Group, supporting the implementation of Phase 2 with Healthy Active Learning and planning the next phase for Balance is Better Champions just to name a few.
I am currently completing my first placement with New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) leading the establishment of a Youth Advisory Group for the organisation. Another key project involves being a part of their Ngā Ringa Awhina team designed to support increased capability across the rugby league network at all levels in New Zealand. I also have the opportunity to support the High-Performance team which is an exciting time leading into a World Cup.
I highly recommend applying for the Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa Programme as the experiences and opportunities you are provided during your time is invaluable. It is a perfect foundation to enable you to learn more about how the sport sector contributes to Sport, Active Recreation and Play, as well as being supported to develop as a future leader and build your network across the sport sector.