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An award winning experience

Sport Taranaki team show their appreciation at the awards night
Sport Taranaki team show their appreciation at the awards night

In November 2016 Sport Taranaki were the well-deserved winners of the inaugural The Wheelhouse Not for profit Business Award, as part the the TSB Bank Taranaki Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. Here at TSB Community Trust we were thrilled to hear of Sport Taranaki win. The Trust has provided significant support to Sport Taranaki over the years so we are proud of their success!

We asked the team at Sport Taranaki what motivated them to enter the awards, what they learned from the experience and what advice they would give to othercommunity organisations considering it. We hope sharing their story will help other community groups find out more about the value of entering.

1.Why did you apply for the Award?

Sport Taranaki has a big reach in Taranaki servicing and supporting the needs of many sports groups, clubs, schools and individuals.We applied for this award as Sport Taranaki wanted to highlight some of the work we do as an organisation to the Taranaki community to grow awareness and lift the profile of our not for profit organisation.We like a challenge and are always looking for ways to improve the work that we do.Entering for the award pushed us out of our comfort zone and gave us a good opportunitiy to reflect on the work we do, our programmes, systems and policies. It was also a fantastic opportunity to have ourselves critiqued externally.

2.How would you sum up the experience ?

Simple, worthwhile and enjoyable. From preparing the application together as a staff, being grilled in the Dragons Den to letting our hair down at the awards evening- it was a good experience for Sport Taranaki and our entire team. Interesting – we prepared thoroughly for the interview and each staff representative knew their particular area very well. There was definitely some nervousness at the beginning but once the interview began we were fine. Overall the experience was a positive one.

3.Did you learn anything new during the process?

We learnt that we have the potential to enter in other categories of the awards as we did not really know much about the other categories and sections before hand. Receiving the feedback from the judges was also beneficial and highlighted the importance of some of the appraisal work the organisation regularly goes through. It also confirmed that the staff at Sport Taranaki have taken ownership of their roles and responsibility and our staff are our biggest asset.

4.Will you be making any changes as a result of your learnings?

There was a suggestion from the judges suggesting a cash flow forecast model overlapped with the existing budget. This could be used to test scenarios around changes in funding for example aligned to our performance objectives. The overall focus will be on continuous improvement for Sport Taranaki based on our new strategic direction. Our leadership role in the region will need to be clearly communicated and articulated within our active community and with sporting enablers and providers.

5.What does it mean to your organisation to win?

The morale within our Sport Taranaki team has been high! Many people put in long hours (and many hours for love) within the work they do from sport specifc development, school sport, recreation, health support, events, admiminstration and beyond. To win the award was a great “feel good” moment for our entire team and for all of the people who have contributed to the growth and success of Sport Taranaki in the past such as Sport Taranaki’s former General Manager Ross Fulton. Winning the award has also been great confidence for the many funders who give grants to Sport Taranaki to enable us to do the work that we do – TSB CT, TET, Lion Foundation, Pelorus Trust, Southern Trust, NZCT and the local Territorial Authorities. Winning the award also gives us the opporutnity to have our name out in the wider community to share and gain more itnerest in the work that Sport Taranaki does for the region. It lifts our profile and credibility even higher and also our standing with key stakeholders such as Sport NZ, Regional Sport Organisations and TDHB.

6.What advice would you give to other organsiations that may want to enter?

Do enter! It is not as “scary” as people may talk it up to be. Be prepared as a team before you Dragons Den including thinking about the “simple” things your organisation does.Be positive in your approach – there is always learnings and opportunities in everything. Be prepared and accepting of feedback and enjoy the awards evening as a way to celebrate and profile the great work your organisation does! Overall – enjoy the eperience!


We also want to congraluate the other winners on the night Tutaki Youth Incorporated and Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust. Congratulations on a major achievement!!! 

Find out more about the overall Award winners here.