SunLive – Scholarships Helping Athletes and Musicians


Athletes and musicians in Tauranga and Western Bay continue to be supported with funding from local organizations.

The Adastra Foundation has provided over $2,500,000 in support since its inception, including $24,000 from TECT, specifically to support promising young athletes and artists in Tauranga and West Bay this year.

The Adastra Foundation, which helps extraordinary young New Zealanders on the national and international stage by providing financial and mentorship support, hosted a reception this month with local supporters TECT, Craigs Investment Partners and the University of Waikato.

Guest speaker Sam Dakin, who recently won a bronze medal at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in the team sprint for track cycling, spoke about performance pathways, mindset, mental health and also workplace transferable skills developed as an elite athlete.

He is the co-founder of Podium Recruit, a athlete focused recruitment company.

Sam also spoke about his new business, Slow Coffee Roasting, which is launched now that he has returned from his recent overseas campaign.

Other guest speakers include Liam Ryan, Narcs keyboardist and a huge influence in the music industry.

He talked about the adaptability required in a career in the music and entertainment industry, it’s like “dancing on a magic carpet” and there can be many forks on the road to success.

Liam Ryan speaking during the Adastra feature.

Glen Jackson, a former professional rugby player and rugby referee from New Zealand, and now on the Fijian Drua Rugby coaching staff, spoke about his sporting and professional career and the opportunities that have come with it.

In attendance were 20 of the athletes, musicians and performers supported by the Adastra Foundation and TECT through the 2022 scholarship program. Representatives from schools, arts organizations, administrators and sponsors were among the audience.

Local TECT-funded fellows include Lulu Johnson, Triathlon, who spoke about her recent overseas campaign; Nensi Patel, cricket; Quinn Boyle, open water swimming; Amber Daisley, dance; Casey Ward, Wakeboard; and Waru Taoho, musician, who pronounced the karakia.

The Adastra program, which includes financial support and mentoring sessions, has been running in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty areas since 2007.

It aims to support exceptional young adults who are striving to achieve ambitious goals in sport, music and the performing arts. Mentoring sessions are a fundamental part of the program, designed to reflect the unique needs of recipients who are typically transitioning to the next level of their chosen discipline and a new level of independence.

Topics covered in the sessions include communication and relationship building, mentoring, growing confidence, nutrition, and the psychology of performance.

Mark Arundel speaking at the Adastra function.

TECT Trustee Mark Arundel is impressed with the caliber of young talent and looks forward to hearing about their triumphs in the near future.

“I am in awe of the accomplishments, dedication and commitment of so many young recipients, as well as the inspiring and uplifting presentations. Adastra certainly has a proud record highlighted in its “Hall of Fame”.

“All who are supported by Adastra will contribute immensely to our communities, including providing us, proud Kiwis, with the opportunity to ‘enjoy the reflected brilliance of their successes’ in sports, music and the arts.”

Applications for the 2023 scholarships are now open to Waikato/Bay of Plenty area athletes, musicians and performers aged 16-23.

Applications can be made online in August online at

-By Emma Niven.


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