Future Champions

The Future Champions programme provides mentoring, personal development sessions and comprehensive workshops to assist emerging athletes.

What is the Future Champions programme?

​​Sport Taranaki works with the Taranaki Secondary Schools Sports Association to offer the Future Champions programme to recognise, acknowledge and support the development of emerging Taranaki athletes.

Future Champions provides mentoring, personal development sessions and comprehensive workshops to assist athletes selected for the programme to fulfill their potential.  

It includes a series of workshops including nutrition, performance psychology, leadership, injury prevention, mental skills, dealing with the media, strength and conditioning, stretching and breathing and the importance of drug free sport. Coaches and parents are included in sessions where appropriate.

Applications for the 2023 programme are now closed and applications are being assessed.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Please contact Guy Honnor with any questions.

Guy Honnor  Coaching Advisor


Phone: 027 705 9369

Much more than a great coach

While best known nationally as a basketball coach, locally McKean reached thousands of young people either through his time teaching at Spotswood College or as regional director of the Taranaki Secondary Schools’ Sports Association (TSSSA), a position he held for 20 years.

“So many kids have benefited from playing sport, making new friends, having great experiences and being introduced to the challenge of competitive sport,’’ former Sport Taranaki boss Howie Tamati, who worked with McKean for 26 years, said.

Steve ‘Coach’ McKean legacy honoured

In recognition of the impact Coach has had, not only in Basketball, but all sports in Taranaki, Rachel and Naomi McKean have partnered up with the Taranaki Foundation to establish a sports endowment fund, with the aim of creating a lasting legacy for young athletes across the region.

“Our larger-than-life husband and father, Steve ‘Coach’ McKean was an instrumental and avid supporter of budding Taranaki sportspeople. In his memory we encourage those who are able to donate to The ‘Coach’ McKean Fund which will support promising young athletes.” This fund is supporting the 2022 Future Champions Programme.

Future Champions Alumni

Future Champions is in its 17th year.  This programme can be instrumental helping athletes achieve on a national and international stage.  Since it started in 2007, over 135 Taranaki “born and bred” athletes have been through the programme from 26 sporting codes. 

These athletes have gone on to become very high achievers, with four Olympians, over 80 New Zealand reps/champions and six World Champions including Matt Baxter, Olivia Eaton and Claudia Kelly.

Swimmer Zac Reid and Black Sticks Holly Pearson and Hope Ralph all competed in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Future Champions 2023