Students at ACG Tauranga love their sport. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Sport Bay of Plenty, ACG Tauranga has more students involved in sport than any other school in the Bay. That’s why Ian Shaw’s appointment as Head of Sport, PE and Health earlier this year was an especially exciting announcement for the ACG community.
With a wealth of experience in teaching, sports coaching, mentoring and leadership – both here and in the UK – Ian has the dedication, passion and drive to take sports at ACG Tauranga to the next level. Already the school has seen phenomenal growth in a wide range of sporting codes, but under Ian’s tutelage, sports at ACG Tauranga looks set to become bigger, better and stronger than ever before.
We’ve spoken to Ian about his plans to grow ACG Tauranga’s sporting programme and to discover what he has in store for the remainder of 2021.
Ian, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Prior to starting at ACG Tauranga, I was an education consultant at a multi-academy trust in the UK, and before that, I was a Deputy Principal. I have 19 years of classroom teaching experience, am a New Zealand Football C licenced coach and have worked at Everton Football Club as a talent scout, teacher and coach. From 2007 to 2012, I was Director of Health and PE at Avondale College in Auckland and ran their Sports Academy. And over the course of my career, I’ve mentored numerous athletes to go onto scholarships in the USA and professional sporting contracts.
What benefits can you bring to our students and the school?
Firstly, classroom engagement, relationships and motivational lessons are imperative for physical education and health. My leadership skills from previous roles are important to build a department that stretches and challenges pupils and will also help to increase sports provision as the school grows.
Football is my main sport in terms of what I have played and coached to the highest level. However, I love all sports and enjoy teaching across the full range of activities. There’s no better feeling than seeing pupils improve from a piece of feedback or demonstration that you’ve given. Football is an area of school sport that I am passionate about growing, and currently, we are seeing major growth in hockey, netball and volleyball. I’ll be working hard to ensure that ACG pupils have the best equipment, coaching and performance experience they can while also supporting growth in these areas.
Why do you think it’s important for young people to get involved in sports?
I believe that participating in sport at any level helps build relationships, resilience and teamwork skills. In addition, it provides a dimension to school life that enables students to express themselves, build confidence and self-esteem.
Tauranga is an area that demands sports as an offer from any school. For example, if you attend Blake Park, Mount Maunganui on any Saturday morning, you will see 16 games of junior rugby, netball, tennis and hockey all being played in one venue. Sport is a huge part of school life and one we must meet the challenge of to be successful at ACG.
Sports at ACG Tauranga has undergone phenomenal growth in recent times. Tell us more.
In 2021 we have increased our sports teams in volleyball, hockey, futsal and netball. This is in addition to having more pupils compete than previously in both the WaiBOP Athletics and BOPSS Swimming Champs. The winter leagues are now in full swing, and we have 17 teams representing our school colours. The top field has recently been re-seeded, and we have hosted our first-ever First XI football home fixture as our team competes in the Baywide Youth League.
What plans are in the pipeline to further strengthen sports at the school?
I believe that ACG Tauranga can participate competitively in a variety of leagues around Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty. We participate competitively in a number of sports whilst also providing avenues for pupils to play socially for enjoyment.
The start of 2021 has already seen growth and change in the department from an organisational perspective. I would really like to add a girls football team, intermediate football team, touch or rippa rugby team, and an athlete programme for weight training and nutrition development.
I am excited to see what we can achieve at ACG Tauranga. We have great pupils and supportive parents.
What would you say to families considering ACG Tauranga for their children?
I would urge families to come and visit to see what ACG has to offer. As Head of Sport, PE and Health, I can guarantee that my aim is to improve the quality of everything we do. This year, we have observed first-hand the performance of our pupils radically improve through structured teaching and coaching. Combining high-quality education with the opportunity to participate in various sports, both competitively or purely for enjoyment, ACG Tauranga has it all.