Queen's Birthday honours: Brian Diver

By Sandra Conchie

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Brian Diver has always aimed high when it comes to striving to ensure local youth get the best shot at reaching their full potential.

So it's only fitting that for his efforts in instigating and spearheading the New Zealand Community Trust Aims Games in Tauranga that he has been recognised with a Queen's Service Medal for services to youth sport in the 2012 Queen's Birthday Honours.

Since 2004 the Tauranga Intermediate School principal, who is also Aims Games chairman, has overseen the games growth into a nationwide elite sporting and domestic tourism event. The event has mushroomed into one of the largest sporting events in the country, showcasing the top sporting talent among Year 7 and 8 intermediate school pupils.

It's also been a Tauranga sporting success story, earning flagship status from the Tauranga City Council.

In eight years the Aims Games has grown from 25 schools and 700 athletes to 121 schools and 4600-plus athletes in 2011 and brings hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local community. Under Mr Diver's leadership the event received the Westpac Tourism Award in 2010.

Over the last eight years many local youngsters who competed at the Aims Games have gone on to represent New Zealand, including Black Stick Gemma Flynn, and Olivia Chance, who has worn the Silver Fern in the NZ Under-20 women's football team.

On September 9 the Western Bay will host more than 5800 students at the games with coaches, managers and officials. This year two Aussie teams will join the line-up.

Over the past decade Mr Diver has also devoted his time to the wellbeing of at-risk adolescents as one of the trustees of the Te Aranui Youth at Risk Trust and the Ngamuwahine Trust.

Under his charge Tauranga Intermediate School was also named Goodman Fielder Larger Primary/Intermediate School of the Year in 2001.

In 2005 he gave one of the keynote presentations at the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement conference in Barcelona.

Mr Diver has been a trustee of the Bay Health Foundation since its inception and was a member of the team that spearheaded the establishment of a Bay of Plenty Cancer Centre at Tauranga Hospital and seeded a second cancer centre at Whakatane Hospital.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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