A milestone event for sport and health in Hawke's Bay was achieved at the weekend, says Marcus Agnew, who leads talent development and the Pathway to Podium for AUT Millenium Hawke's Bay..

Leading athlete development coaches from Auckland's AUT Millennium Institute travelled to the region to share their knowledge with "Hawke's Bay's best EIT sport and rec graduates".

The two-day coach education course, at Havelock North High School, was part of a 10-week series, at the end of which graduates will be AUT Millennium Hawke's Bay accredited athlete development coaches.

Collaboration between AUT Millennium staff, EIT and residents of the region is part of Mr Agnew's vision for the proposed AUT Millennium Hawke's Bay.

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He is involved in the proposed $10 million development at the Regional Sports Park, spearheaded by Sir Graeme Avery to create a world-class multiple-sport training, community health and wellbeing facility.

It would leverage off the success of the AUT Millennium, which will collaborate with EIT to deliver sports science and health and wellness programmes. At the weekend, in the first course of its kind in Hawke's Bay, doctors Craig Harrison and Paul Hamble of AUT Millennium upskilled a group of seven "hand-picked" EIT graduates.

The graduates were from a range of backgrounds and "part of the wider AUT Millennium Hawke's Bay initiative about connecting regionwide, from Waipuk to Wairoa", Mr Agnew, who is also an EIT sports science lecturer, said.

"This is the first time we've had experts like this teach this specialist, absolute world leading course in terms of athlete development," he said, "bringing together our best recent graduates, hooking them up with world leading experts coming down, thanks to [Sir Graeme Avery], and getting them up to speed with these methods, and looking into things that we can implement in our region."

Robert Gillet-Jackson, trainer for the first schools programme of AUT Millennium physical sessions, teaches Havelock North High School students Mitchell Keip (left) and Jack Francois strength technique development. Photo / Paul Taylor
Robert Gillet-Jackson, trainer for the first schools programme of AUT Millennium physical sessions, teaches Havelock North High School students Mitchell Keip (left) and Jack Francois strength technique development. Photo / Paul Taylor

Mr Agnew, who also leads Talent Development and Pathway to Podium for Sport Hawke's Bay, said the course was a "milestone event for sport and health in Hawke's Bay".

"Previously these sorts of graduates have had to leave the region to work in this space so we'd lose expertise in Hawke's Bay," he said.

"It's about providing physical literacy education to not just athletes but anyone who wants to move on and have an active lifestyle."