A $34,446 grant from the New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) will help lay foundations for the future of athletes at Whanganui High School.

The funding will be used to help students pay for travel and accommodation when they go away during summer tournament week at the end of March.

It will also be used to pay sports performance pathways coach Greg Fromont, who has been in the role since it was created at Whanganui High School in 2016.

Fromont got on board after receiving a phone call from director of sport at WHS Lisa Murphy, who described to him her vision for a new programme at the school.


Murphy said when she arrived at the Purnell St school in 2015, she identified many great athletes and wanted to ensure they were always fit and conditioned.

"We're trying to get the fundamentals in our kids from Year 9, making sure their movement skills are all good and they know what to do.

"Greg's a professional coach so he knew exactly what we needed for the kids and we put the programme together. It wouldn't be where it is today without Greg."

Fromont is employed part-time and spends most of that time training the students after school to prepare them for competition.

Two students who were there at the beginning of the programme are Rebecca Baker and Travis Bayler.

Murphy said they are proof of the programme's success.

"Our head girl Rebecca Baker is a very good hockey player, she does athletics, she does cross country and she's our very first sports performance pathway kid.

"Her and Travis Bayler started it with Greg when they were young and you can see how they've developed. Travis won a national title last year at athletics."


Meanwhile, Baker won the women's section of the Manawatu/Whanganui Centre Championships on Tuesday running 3000m in 10:07.43.

WHS were also able to secure funding from KiwiSport to pay Baker's mum Elaine who also helps with after-school training as an assistant coach.

During tournament week students will travel to Karapiro to row at the Maadi Cup, boys and girls will travel to Gisborne for softball and Palmerston North for volleyball.

The next big sports event for Whanganui High School is the house athletics at Cooks Gardens on Thursday, February 21.

It is the second year of house competition since house groups were re-established at the school and will be good preparation for the North Island Secondary Schools Championships in Tauranga in April.

Other organisations to receive NZCT funding were Whanganui Collegiate School ($6000 for accommodation) and Wanganui Pirates Rugby Football Club ($3000 for medical supplies and mouthguards).