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SportsTalk: WaiBOP Football, December 2018

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Football is a year round sport, which has been borne out over the last few months by the commitment of the Loaded WaiBOP team in the Women’s National League and our region’s two sides, including one from Bay of Plenty, in the Futsal National League. Both competitions concluded for our sides last weekend, bringing to an end a long season for our region’s leading female players and futsal exponents.

(c) Photosport

Much of the football spotlight in this country over the last few weeks has fallen on the New Zealand U17 women’s team, who became the first side from our country to medal at a FIFA event. The WaiBOP region was well represented, with both Kelli Brown and Grace Wisnewski scoring goals for the team, while goalkeeper, Georgia Candy, was an important member of the squad. As a football fan it has been pleasing to see the positive coverage afforded these impressive young ambassadors for our sport. The female game offers one of the best opportunities to grow football and having superb role models, including several based here in our region, can only enhance that prospect.

Congratulations to all the players named in WaiBOP's 2018 National Age Group Tournament (NAGT) teams. Every year we identify and select the best available players to attend the NAGT, held in Wellington every December. This year's tournament is set for Wednesday 12th to Sunday 16th December. Squads have been selected for the five tournament age groups (boys U14, U15 & U16 and girls U14 & U16) and involve players from across our region, including many from the Bay.

The New Year will see a new team of Federation Development Officers operating in the Bay of Plenty with the recent resignations of Tauranga-based Jasmine Quilligan and Joe Dixon, and Whakatane based Juan Bautista Propato from WaiBOP Football Federation. While we are obviously sad to see these three move on from the organisation, it also provides an exciting opportunity to review the current staffing structure and bring some fresh faces with new ideas into the organisation.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in football across the region for their efforts during the 2018 season. We have a great sport full of wonderful players, coaches, referees and volunteers. Merry Christmas and I look forward to working with everyone again in 2019.


Karyn Walters is the Chief Executive of WaiBOP Football, one of seven district Federations that leads, inspires and delivers football in New Zealand. WaiBOP covers the Waikato, Thames Valley, Bay of Plenty and King Country regions. Visit

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