Female participation on the rise in North Harbour

Female participation is going from strength to strength in the Harbour region thanks to a Secondary School KiwiSport project focussing on increasing activity in sport.


The project is being delivered by AFL New Zealand and is in partnership with Harbour Sport. Five Schools, Rosmini College, Carmel College, Kingsway School and Northcote College within the Harbour region have completed a variety of programmes incorporating AFL delivery. At the completion of the project, a target of 2000 students will have completed an AFL New Zealand Secondary School programme, with female participation a key element.

NZ Kahu Buell Verkade from Whangaparaoa College

AFL New Zealand has diversified the programmes available to Secondary Schools to ensure flexibility that suits the outcomes of the school and provides opportunities for students and staff to participate in all facets of AFL.

The exciting range of programmes ensures that our professional staff can work with Secondary Schools to deliver a fun and rewarding experience for girls, boys and teachers.

Following on from school programmes, opportunities continue out of school with the pathway leading to the Regional Youth Competition based at North Harbour Stadium running from October to December each year. Participants are then selected into the AFL New Zealand Academy which focuses on improving the skills and fitness of athletes, through a training and development programme. The final step in the pathway is National Representation. Five were luck enough to progress through the pathway to represent the national New Zealand Kahu Youth Girls in Wellington over ANZAC weekend in April. Buell Verkade (Whangaparaoa College), Samantha Shrimpton (Birkenhead College), Misialofa Saamu (Hobsonville Point Secondary School), Masoka Kalenga (Carmel College) and Jaimee Wyatt (Westlake Girls High School) were all part of the victorious Kahu side that won a two match series over a Mornington Peninsula side who travelled from Victoria, Australia.

In Term 3 last year, Year 10 classes at Carmel College received the Introduction to AFL programme . AFL New Zealand continues to generate new relationships as a way of generating new particpation opportunities for females.  The relationship between the School and AFL New Zealand is paramaount to an ongoing connection with the sport and a lifetime of enjoyment for those who connect.

The Kiwisport project continues with delivery of the Introduction to AFL programme to over 800 students at Whangaparaoa College in Term 3 2017. Hobsonville Point Secondary School and Kingway School in Silverdale are also key participation targets looking ahead.