We are pleased to announce that eleven Taranaki high school athletes they have been selected as the inaugural recipients of the Coach McKean Small Grants Fund through Taranaki Foundation.

The successful 2023 athletes are: Asher Ryan, Freya Stolte, Hamish Salisbury, Jamie Pihama-Jeffrey, Kahsia Bailey-Nowell, Larkin Mills, Lucas Vassiliou, Max Cave, Rory Pepperell, Sam Taylor, and Spencer Rowson.

Larkin Mills a student at Inglewood High School, says “It has always been my dream and goal since I was 3 years old, to get good enough to get to the worlds to play roller hockey. I have trained very hard and have finally made it to the New Zealand Under 19 team. This is an incredible opportunity but comes at a considerable cost to myself and my parents.”

Jamie Pihama-Jeffrey a student at Spotswood college applied for this grant to help with covering her costs to play in the Chiefs Cup programme for New Plymouth Girls High School.  “I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to play for New Plymouth Girls High School as Spotswood College do not have a team in this nationally recognised 1st XV competition.”

Kahsia Bailey-Nowell a year 10 student at New Plymouth Girls High School has recently been named in the Taranaki Thunder Women’s basketball team and says “This grant will support my participation in the upcoming Secondary School Regionals and hopefully qualification for Secondary School Nationals, as well as potential selection for the U18 Koru Team. By investing in my journey, you will not only help me achieve my goals but also hopefully inspire other young athletes to strive for excellence both on and off the court.”

Steve ‘Coach’ McKean passed away in May 2021 and his wife and daughter, Rachel and Naomi McKean established a sports endowment fund, in partnership with the Taranaki Foundation, to enable Coach McKean’s legacy to continue to inspire and enable young athletes in Taranaki.

Rachel and Naomi said the Small Grants Fund has been established to provide financial assistance, of up to $200, focused on athletes who have genuine need of additional resources to participate.

“In addition to the Fund’s support of the Future Champions programme, we also wanted to make small grants available to award our promising Taranaki young people, as they pursue their chosen sport at a representative level. Congratulations to the awesome 2023 recipients! We wish you well,” they said.

  • The next Coach McKean Small Grants funding round will be in June 2024.  Keep an eye out for updates through our social medial channels.
  • Read more about the Coach McKean Fund here