Podcast: Extra Time

Are we doing enough for Māori and Pasifika in sport?

This week's Extra Time podcast asks are sports looking after Māori and Pasifika players, and are they doing enough to get more Māori and Pasifika into top-level coaching roles?

All of New Zealand's professional sports teams have large numbers of Māori and Pasifika players. Are we getting things right with coaching, and embracing and acknowledging cultural diversity?

Netball New Zealand's national coaching development manager, Tania Karauria, says it's an ongoing challenge to understand the key to keeping teenage Māori and Pasifika players in netball. And all sports, she says, have to take a look at the opportunities they're presenting to Māori and Pasifika coaches. 

"If you look a boards and interview panels, or any systems and structures where they're looking at working alongside coaches and bringing them into the fold, I think for Māori and Pasifika, it makes it way easier if they can see one of their own sitting in any of those decision-making positions," she says. 

"If they don't see anyone they can relate to, it becomes a really challenging difficult place to be for a coach." 

So what do coaches need to understand about Māori and the different Pasifika cultures, and Māori and Pasifika players, to ensure they're given every opportunity to succeed? 

Dr Sierra Keung, an academic at AUT in Auckland who has researched the cultural differences in coaching from a Māori and Pasifika perspective, says it comes down to relationships. 

"It starts with being willing to listen to others. There are not many Māori and Pasifika in the coaching space, but there are in the support space, so leaning on those staff members, leaning on the senior leadership team to understand the practical implications they can implement in designing the game plan for the week," she says. 

"I would put a wero out to organisation that when they do recruit coaches, that there's a buy-in for the well-being [of players]. That it's an embedded part of developing our athletes on the field as well as off the field." 

Also joining RNZ's Joe Porter on the podcast this week is former All Black Tamati Ellison, who is a coach with the Kanaloa Hawaii Major League rugby side trying to join a revamped Super Rugby competition.

And former Kiwis and Warriors coach Frank Endacott chips in with why he thinks the Warriors' current woes stem back to recruitment problems. 


* Extra Time is a podcast brought to you by RNZ, Stuff and LockerRoom.

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