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The Trusts become Associate Sponsor of `The Don Oliver´


Don Oliver Workshop

The Don Oliver Youth Sport Foundation is delighted to announce that The Trusts has joined them as Associate Sponsor.

The Trusts has long supported ‘The Don Oliver’ and this year decided that it would increase its contribution in a variety of ways including a monetary contribution, regular publicity in Our West magazine and assistance with other costs.

“Having the support of The Trusts has always been very important to us both in terms of being able to run our annual fundraising dinner, but also over the last year in introducing our new ‘Don Oliver Workshops’ that are open to all young West Auckland athletes,” says Don Oliver Youth Sport Foundation (DOYSF) chairman, Dai Bindoff.

With The Trusts it’s very hard to tell where one lot of support begins and another ends. For example, Simon Wickham, CEO of The Trusts spoke to our last workshop attended by more than 30 young athletes, on the subject of how to get selected.

“Nobody understands that better than Simon who is the chairman of the independent selection panel that chooses our Don Oliver Scholars each year. He is also chairman of the New Zealand Olympic Committee selectors and they choose all the athletes who will attend summer and winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games.”

The new ‘Don Oliver Workshops’ being held monthly are open to all young West Auckland athletes, not just Don Oliver Scholars. They are designed to help young athletes understand all of the things they need to know if they’re to succeed in their sport.

The next workshop is all about doping; why not to do it and how to avoid doing it by accident by taking some substance that is in medicine or food.

In the May Don Oliver Workshop, The Trusts CEO, Simon Wickham opened the eyes of 30 youngsters to the demanding skills of getting noticed and getting selected. Simon pointed out that when selectors have to work their way through dozens of applications, whether it be for funding or to become an Olympian, applicants had to find way to be noticed and “tell their story” in a way that grabs the selector’s interest.

To demonstrate this art, he challenged everyone present to go and tell “their story” to someone in the room, who they didn’t know. It was an interesting and eye-opening exercise for the youngsters and adults alike.

Results, results and results are the key driver because in the end selectors have to look at whether or not this person has a track record of results and consistent improvement that is worthy of attention.

He noted how these days it was harder than ever to break into Olympic, World Championship or Commonwealth Games selection and even harder to convert selection into a medal. The only real starting point was to achieve the results that say that you deserve to be selected and that you are better than the next best.

“Don’t just aim to qualify. The qualification standard is the minimum that’s required. Aim above that,” he said, urging his audience to believe in themselves and to think in terms of “BoHAGs”, otherwise known as “Big Hairy Audacious Goals”.

He also told them to follow the rules on the application form. “Writing ‘see attached’ and then writing an essay on a separate piece of paper” was a very good way to get put in the “maybe” pile rather than the “yes” pile, he told them.

Previous workshops have covered sports nutrition and learning how to reward sponsors and deal with the public in a variety of ways including social media.

Photograph by Auckland Sports Photography