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Sponsored Athletes

At Foundation we are passionate about helping people achieve their goals. We have a sponsored athletes programme which provides support to some of our best local up and coming young athletes. These young men and women show promise in their chosen sport and make a positive contribution within our community.

Kelsie Wills

Kelsie Wills is a professional NZ representative Beach Volleyball athlete.

Kelsie grew up in Matamata where she started playing beach volleyball in 2006. After completing an indoor volleyball scholarship in the USA for four years, and playing a year professionally in Paris, Kelsie returned back to New Zealand in 2016. She now lives in Mount Maunganui and trains alongside Shaunna Polley with coach Mike Watson.

Kelsie and teammate Shaunna Polley enjoyed a successful international season in 2017, including a bronze medal performance at the 2017 Ulsan 1 Star World Tour Event in Korea.

Kelsie Wills and Shaunna were named as New Zealand's first female beach volleyball team to compete at the Commonwealth Games in early 2018. Making it through to the quarterfinals, they lost to Cyprus in a close fought match.

When she isn't training and travelling for volleyball, Kelsie works full-time as an auditor for KPMG Tauranga.

Beach Volleyball

David Holder

David Holder is a semi-professional Rally Car Driver. In 2018 he competed in the Junior World Rally Championship. The Championship consists of 5 rounds throughout Europe, putting competitors on some of the most testing roads in the World. He has competed at Rally Sweden, Rally France, Rally Portugal, Rally Finland and will soon leave to compete at Rally Turkey.

He placed a career best of third at WRC Rally Portugal.

In 2017 David won Rally Otago, competing for Hyundai New Zealand. Additionally he competed in Greg Murphy's Holden Barina for Rally Waitomo and the Rally of New Zealand.

In 2016 David won the Overall New Zealand Rally Championship. In 2014 he was awarded Junior New Zealand Rally Champion.

Motorsport - Rallying

Eva Morris

Eva is a New Zealand representative Synchronised Swimmer.

In 2016 alongside partner Jazzlee Thomas, they competed at the FINA Junior World Synchronised Swimming Championships in Kazan, Russia. They placed 28th in the world with their Duet out of 242 competitors aged 15-18 from 40 different countries.

At the Canadian Synchronised Swimming Open in 2017 they won bronze medals in both the Tech routine and Free routine against some of the world's best athletes from Canada, Ukraine and Colombia.

In June 2018 Eva represented New Zealand at the FINA World series meet in the USA. She received a personal best of 71 points and finished in 7th place.

Eva is aiming on making New Zealand selection for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Synchronised Swimming

Taris Harker

Taris is currently a member of the NZ under 23 kayaking Team and also competes at Surf Lifesaving.

Taris was named in the New Zealand U23 Mens K4 team in 2017, and traveled to Romania to compete in the Junior World Championships. They placed ninth in the final of the K4 500m.

At the 2016 Kayaking Nationals Taris won the U23 men's K1 200m, 2nd U23 men's K1 1000m, 2nd Open men's K1 5000m, 3rd Open men's K2 200m, 3rd Open men's K4 200m, 3rd Open men's K4 1000m

Taris won the mens U19 Ski Race at the 2015 Surf Lifesaving Nationals and finished 3rd in the Open mens Ski Race in 2016.

NZ Kayaking Team

Ben Cochrane

Ben competes professionally in Surf Lifesaving and is a member of the NZ Surf lifesaving Team.

In 2014 at the NZ National Championships he placed 1st in the U19 Ironman, 1st U19 run-swim-run and 3rd U19 surf race. At the 2014 World Championships he placed 2nd in the U19 ski race and 3rd U19 Ironman.

In 2015 he placed 2nd U19 Ironman and 3rd U19 ski race at the NZ National Championships.

In 2016 he captained the NZ Surf Team at the Sanyo International Lifesaving Cup in Japan. At the event he placed 1st in the taplin, 3rd in the ski race, 3rd in the Ironman and 3rd in the board race.

In 2017 Ben won the Short distance Ironman at the Gold Coast Surf Championship.

Surf Lifesaving

Kobe Rodger

Kobe Rodger is a up and coming Rugby League athlete.

The Tauranga Boys' College Year 12 student has become the first player to be contracted by an NRL club while still at school in Tauranga. He has signed a two-year contract with the South Sydney Rabbitohs which began in January 2018. Kobe has played most games this year for the U18 Junior Rabbitohs.

It has been a remarkable progression for Rodger, a talented hooker from the Otumoetai Eels club. He got his break after playing a starring role for WaiCoaBay Stallions under-18s at the Ruben Wiki Challenge Cup in January.

Rugby League

Fraser Sharp

Fraser is a Paralympic road cyclist. At Rio in 2016 Fraser finished 11th in the Mens Road Race C3, and 8th in the Time Trial C3.

At the beginning of 2017 Fraser took out the 20km time trial at the World Masters held in Auckland, in the Para 40+ C3 category. He was also second overall in able-bodied athletes in his age group.

In May 2017 Fraser got silver in the Time Trial in Belgium, behind the current World Champion, and a bronze in the Time Trail in Maniago Italy.

Professional Cyclist

Julia Tilley

Julia Tilley is a professional NZ representative Beach Volleyball athlete.

Julia has been representing New Zealand Internationally for the past 10 years. Together with team-mate Alice Bain, Julia has competed in multiple Asia-Pacific FIVB tournaments in 2017 and 2018.

In 2018 they placed 4th in Camobodia, 5th in Vietnam, and 9th twice.

Out of the 6 FIVB tournaments in 2017, Julia and Alice placed 5th twice, 9th twice, 17th and 33rd.

Beach Volleyball

Chelsea Barns

Chelsea is one of New Zealand's promising gymnasts. In 2016 she competed for New Zealand in Hawaii at two competitions where she placed 1st overall and 3rd overall in STEP 10 and was the Vault Champion at both competitions.

In 2015 she placed 3rd overall at the NZ National Championships, and was the NZ National Vault Champion for STEP 10. She also received the award for the New Zealand STEP's Gymnast of the Year 2015.


Kodi Harman

Kodi is one of NZ's fastest sprinters. He still holds the record for the Mens 17 years & Mens 18 years 100m records - 10.56secs & 10.42secs respectively.

He won the NZ open mens 100m sprint in 2015 and was 2nd in 2014.

He also finished 3rd at world surf life saving champs in the beach sprint in 2014

In 2017 Kodi finished 2nd in the NZ open mens 100m sprint, to Joseph Millar.


Cullen Browne

Cullen Browne is a semi-professional cyclist. In 2016 Cullen headed to Europe to further his experience and career.

In 2016 he competed in the Tour de l'Abitibi - Coupe des Nations Junior, which covers 600km in 6 days. Cullen placed 75th out of 96 competitors, notably finishing 4th on stage 5 and 17th on stage 7.

In 2017 Cullen competed in the New Zealand Cycle Classic, which covers 702km in 5 days. Cullen finished overall in 69th place, and 34th in the Youth category.


Sam Shergold

Sam Shergold is a semi-professional surf lifesaving and paddleboard athlete. In 2016 Sam claimed gold at the ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship being held in Fiji. Shergold won the 17.5km Men's Prone Distance Race. A three time competitor at the event, Shergold finally made it to the top of the podium after a fourth place finish in 2015 and a runner up finish in 2014.

In 2017 Sam competed in the New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships, placing 1st in the Open Mens Ski Relay, 3rd in the Double Ski Relay, 1st in the Rescue Tube Rescue, and 1st in the Open Mens Taplin Relay.

Surf Lifesaving

Brooke Shergold

Brooke competes in Surf Lifesaving for Mount Maunganui Club.

In 2017 Brooke placed 2nd in the Open Womens Board Relay.

In 2016 Brooke placed 3rd in the Open Womens Ski Relay, and 1st in the Mixed Double Ski at the New Zealand Surf Life Saving Champs.

Surf Lifesaving

Mariah Ririnui

Mariah is a Long Jumper and sprinter from Tauranga. In 2013 she won the NZ 100m and Long Jump titles, and defended her Long Jump title in 2014.

In 2015 she represented NZ at the World University Games in South Korea and placed 13th in Long Jump and 4th in the 4x100m relay as part of the NZ women's team.

In 2016 she won the Summer Series 13 Long jump with a distance of 6.22m. At the New Zealand Championships she place 2nd with a distance of 5.92m

In 2017 she won the Grand Prix in Canberra Australia with a distance of 6.37m.

Her long term goals are to represent NZ at the 2020 Olympics and World Champs for Long Jump, and break the NZ record.


Aaron Pulford

Aaron is a long-distance runner who competes in the 5,000m, 10,000m, Half Marathon and Marathon distances. In 2017 he won the NZ 10,000m title for the fourth year in a row, lapping the second place runner. He finished with a time of 30.09 minutes.

In June 2018 he placed 7th in the Elite Field at the Gold Coast Half Marathon, an 2nd in the Christchurch Half Marathon.

He won the Auckland Half Marathon in 2017 in a time of 1.07.17

In 2015 he won the NZ Marathon title/Auckland Marathon. Also in 2015 he represented NZ at the World University Games in South Korea and placed 11th in the 10,000m and 14th in the Half Marathon.

His long term goals are to represent NZ at the 2020 Olympics in Marathon, win a major city marathon and break the NZ record.

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