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Source: Aktive

23 diverse women leaders have successfully completed the inaugural Aktive Women’s Leadership Development Programme (WLDP) highlighting the breadth of female talent across Auckland’s sport and recreation sector.
The 18-month programme was celebrated on Tuesday 5 April at the National Hockey Centre in Auckland with a graduation ceremony. The participants presented on the group projects they have been working on, with their programme mentors, current line managers and wider sector leaders in attendance.
Jennah Wootten, Chief Executive, Aktive says the participants have embraced the challenging opportunity which aimed to grow capability and support the women with their future aspirations at both governance and management levels of the sector.
“It is fantastic to see the graduating group of wāhine toa come through the Women’s Leadership Development Programme with amplified skillsets to support their future aspirations,” says Ms Wootten.
“The sport and recreation sector in Auckland is stronger for this group’s involvement in the Programme, and we know these women will continue to make a positive difference in the sector and be role models for other women and girls in sport.”
Kirsten Hellier, WLDP facilitator spoke about her gratitude for supporting women towards leadership roles in the sector.
“Sport has offered me the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. It has been such a pleasure to be placed in a space to support others through a focused programme that both embraces and challenges the role that women have in and on sport in Aotearoa.”
The 2021 WLDP participants hail from a diverse range of organisations including Paralympics New Zealand, Auckland Cricket, Netball Northern Zone, Auckland Hockey, Bruce Pulman Park, Auckland Council and CLM Community Sport.
Gayle Vaughan, WLDP participant reflects on the learning opportunities the programme has provided her, building confidence, networks, and skillsets.
“Through a variety of different workshops and projects, I have added to my own repertoire of presentation styles and expanded my delivery toolkit. The women I have met on the programme continue to inspire me and I’m grateful these wāhine toa are part of my network. Thanks to Aktive for bringing us together!”
Fellow participant, Sarah McIlory said the WLDP advanced her leadership journey in the sport and recreation sector: “I’ve loved being on the Aktive WDLP, learning alongside like-minded, passionate, powerful women. This programme and mentorship have helped build confidence, develop knowledge and leadership skills. I now have an invaluable network to call upon in the women’s sport sector.”
Kirsten Hellier observed a highlight of the WLDP was seeing a number of participants progress into leadership roles during the programme’.
“To see many of the participants transition into roles and positions of influence over the past 18 months speaks to the value of this initiative and the future potential of ongoing programmes.”
Applications for Aktive’s next Women’s Leadership Development Programme open 6 April 2022, with a fantastic new opportunity for women outside of Auckland to join the second cohort thanks to the support of Sport New Zealand. Further information is available on the Aktive website.