With ten years’ experience teaching Physical Education, Mathematics and delivering hockey programmes to all ages in South Africa, Thailand and now New Zealand, Franki is a bona fide expert in the field. Currently teaching Physical Education & Health to Year 7, 8 and 10, and Mathematics to Year 7 students, she is delighted to have joined the ACG team and is looking forward to the challenges ahead.
“ACG stands for everything I believe in,” says Franki. “Excellence, integrity, respect and courage. These core values are not only spoken but are evident as soon as you enter the school grounds.”
Kindness, a positive attitude and the intention to always try to fulfil your potential are further qualities that Franki holds dear.
“If we can teach our youth to be kind and compassionate towards one another and to always give of their best, the rest will follow. A school that acknowledges and supports their students as a whole person will develop well-rounded people who contribute positively to society.”
With this holistic philosophy in mind, the importance of encouraging and involving students in their sporting endeavours extends beyond success on a field for this dedicated educator.
“Physical Education, Health and Sport teach you resilience, discipline and the ability to work with other people,” she explains. “Delivering effective programmes encourages increased self-awareness, teaches students the life skills required to be successful in the working community and has undeniable positive effects in the classroom.”
Eager to develop the ACG Tauranga hockey team, Franki has a wealth of experience to call upon, both as player and, when injury demanded, a coach.
“I started playing hockey at six years of age and haven’t put down my stick since. I played age group Representative Hockey throughout high school, captaining the U18 and U21 South African National Teams.
“While recovering from injury, I redirected my passion for hockey to coaching while still continuing to play in the Premier League. I have over 15 years coaching experience, completing nationally and internationally recognised coaching courses, and spent five years working for Sport Bay of Plenty developing players and coaches of all ages.
“Then, for the past two years I’ve been in Auckland teaching, alongside coaching the Auckland Women’s National Hockey team.”
In addition to her responsibilities with the New Zealand Under 18 team, Franki is a coach within the High-Performance Sport New Zealand Pathway to Podium Programme which identifies emerging athletes and helps to prepare them for the demanding sport system.
And beyond all this, she still finds time to relax by spending time with her dog at the beach, exploring the bush and climbing mountains.
“I have recently taken up mountain biking, but I am still learning how to spend more time on the seat rather than on the ground,” she remarks.
When asked about the most rewarding aspects of her role as a teacher, Franki’s response was immediate.
“I genuinely care about all my students, so building positive relationships and being a part of their development is what keeps me teaching. There is nothing more rewarding than witnessing a student becoming a well-rounded, successful young adult.
“I remind all my students that success is the by-product of effort, and I encourage them to strive for excellence in everything they do. Their best may vary from day to day (and that’s okay!), as long as they are being the best version of themselves with what they have at the time, success will follow.”