The often forgotten part of sport has today received a major funding boost with former Black Stick Jon Tanner and his wife Sue giving $1 million to hockey to help “coach the coaches”.
Tanner says hockey, like many sports, has often struggled to keep good coaches in the game.
“Developing and keeping good coaches is critical for the sport. Promising coaches who want help, often can’t easily get it. We need to give them all the support they need.”
Tanner says there is sometimes a poor understanding of what coach development entails.
“Sue and I want the focus of this investment to be on a comprehensive support programme to “coach the coaches”. We’d like to kick it off with a pilot programme here in the Waikato and across the other four Midlands associations, that can be rolled out nationally in time.
“We’d also like to see more of our best coaches, coaching kids.”
The Tanner’s donation will be made through the Hockey Foundation, a charitable trust that raises funds for the growth and development of hockey. Tanner was the foundation’s founding chair.
Hockey Foundation Chair Alan Lints is delighted the donation will focus on a key component of grassroots hockey.
“Many sponsors and funders want to focus their money on the elite level of the sport because of the profile it brings. It’s great to see the Tanner’s contribution focusing on ensuring hockey is strong and vibrant at a grassroots level by supporting coaching in the provinces – where it all starts.”
Hockey New Zealand Chief Executive Ian Francis says the sport is incredibly grateful to the Tanners for their ongoing support.
“Jon and Sue’s contribution will go a long way to ensuring coaching is a priority, with the leadership of a connected coach developer network, our coaches can access the support they need,” says Francis
“It’s all about having quality coaching with the right players at the right time in the right environments underpinned by quality domestic competitions.”
Tanner speaks from personal experience when he says he knows what sport can do for children.
“I believe sport helps young people learn, build courage and confidence, and shapes their lives for the better. I know that’s what it did for me.
“Alongside my passion for coaching and kids, I strongly believe in leadership and we hope this donation will inspire others to do likewise.”
Tanner, who has built a successful career as an investment adviser, shareholder and director of Craig’s Investment Partners, has played a role in a range of community and national organisations, and with wife Sue they are significant donors. Their support includes:
- Founding Chair of Hockey Foundation and former Hockey NZ board member
- Founder and board member of Midlands Hockey
- Founding trustee for Momentum Waikato and member of the fundraising committee for new riverfront theatre.
- Founding Trustee for Mesh Sculpture Hamilton
- Trustee of Hamilton Gardens Development Trust
- Halberg Trustee – Waikato
- Neurological Research Charitable Trust – lead fundraising committee
- Fellow of St Paul’s Collegiate School and played a lead role in the development of its $4 million Hockey High-Performance Centre which is also home to Midlands Hockey
- Trustee of Donny Charitable Trust – major donor to the Hamilton City River Plan