New board members bring new perspectives for Academy Southland
The latest recruits to the Talent Development Southland board, which oversees the Academy Southland programme, are providing two very different but valuable perspectives.
Cathy Jordan, an Academy Southland graduate and former junior world championship track cyclist, and Kate Buchanan, a former journalist and communications manager with the Southern Steel, joined the board which oversees Academy Southland earlier this year.
The board is chaired by Keith Brown and includes Murray Brown, Brendon McDermott and Jane Muir.
“Academy Southland has provided the foundations for many Southlanders to succeed in their sport and builds a skill set that can be applied to all aspects of life,” Jordan said.
“I really like that the Academy focuses on the ‘whole’ person, recognising that sport is part of life and how that is balanced with everything else so that the athlete has a happy and healthy life during and beyond their sport.”
These days Jordan is part of Sport Southland’s Healthy Families Invercargill team, and has a focus on ensuring Invercargill people have opportunities to be more active through play.
She is also an advocate for cycling opportunities at all levels in Southland.
“I would not have had the success I did with my sport without the support of Academy Southland and still use the skills I learnt through the programme daily through my career and family life, and know many others do too. I want to be part of providing those opportunities to others.”
Buchanan has a long history with Southland sport, firstly as an award-winning sports reporter at the Southland Times and then later as the communications and marketing manager for the Southern Steel.
“I’ve always admired and respected the role Academy Southland plays in our sporting success as a province. We traditionally punch well above our weight on the sporting pitch and that’s testament to the structures and support we give our emerging athletes as they embark on their careers,” Buchanan said.
“When I opted to change my career direction after 12 years with the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel, the Academy Southland role enabled me to stay connected and hopefully contribute to the sporting world I’ve always been so passionate about.”
Buchanan said talent would only get an athlete so far.
“Our young athletes need to be supported and guided in all facets of sport and life – from training and nutrition to media and life skills. Academy Southland provides the ideal environment for them to not only achieve their sporting aspirations but learn the skills to cope with the pressure demands of competing at the elite level.”
Jordan and Buchanan both said they were enjoying their time on the board.
“I feel privileged to work alongside the other board members and staff,” Jordan said.
“It’s a great team. It’s fantastic to see so many current and past Academy athletes excelling on the national and world stage.”