Legendary international league coach and Kiwi icon Graham Lowe is on a mission to change lives. Teens who are struggling at high school or are looking for a vocational pathway to employment have been thrown a lifeline thanks to a partnership between private training provider New Zealand Institute of Sport (NZIS) and The Lowie Foundation, an independent New Zealand charity founded by rugby league legend Graham Lowe, ONZM, QSM.
The Foundation strives to change young people’s lives through education and sport, and Graham Lowe is travelling to key centres with NZIS, to inspire youth to find their niche. Graham says, “We all struggle at different times of our life, and if I can just have some time to show some of these kids a path, they can get on board and change their lives.”
Graham will be speaking at free seminars at:
Graham is using his coaching skills and sporting language to develop and inspire students to get back on track. The NZIS Graham Lowe Certificate in Foundation Skills Level 2 programme, which he calls “kick for the seagulls” has a strong focus on literacy and numeracy, using the language of sport as a hook to engage students back into education and improve their academic achievement.
According to NZIS Chief Executive, Mark Worsop, the programme targets those who have fallen through the cracks at high school or those that are simply looking for an alternative educational pathway, setting them up with the building blocks they need to pathway into further study or meaningful employment. As part of the Youth Guarantee Scheme, it will be delivered free to 16 – 19 year olds.
“We have had some great results with this programme in the Waikato, and now to be extending it to Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington, we believe it will be extremely popular. It will re-engage students who have potential but who have become disconnected from education. It is very much geared towards students who enjoy sport, although not necessarily elite performers. Our complete focus from there is transitioning students to higher levels of study with the tools they need to be successful and ultimately gain sustainable employment.” Mark said.
Although contextualised around sport and recreation, the programme is underpinned by a holistic approach to youth development and students develop their soft skills and literacy and numeracy, in a wide range of contexts. Far from your average classroom setting, they will participate in projects, workshops, fitness training, mentoring sessions, field trips and more. They’ll graduate with the New Zealand Certificate in Foundation Skills Level 2.
The programme has been running for the past two years and according to Graham Lowe it has been extremely successful.
“We started out with a small group up North because we wanted to prove that it worked – and we got a fantastic response,” he said. “By partnering with NZIS we can now extend the programme. It has given us more scope, and opened up new communities via NZIS that we think we can add benefit to.”
The programme is based around the 12 Principles for Success, common-sense philosophies which Graham has developed throughout his own career, and ones which he says can be applied in all areas of life for personal success. They include gems such as “practice til the lights go out”, “never die wondering”, and “discover the power of your team early”. Though based on advice dished out on the field, it encourages people to look for the openings, and spot the opportunities – sage advice that can be applied in all facets of life. It aligns perfectly with NZIS’s core vision and values, and the provider’s commitment to make a meaningful difference to the lives of its students, their families and their communities.