• ILT Southland Sports Awards - 26 June

    The 2015 ILT Southland Sports Awards will be held on Friday 26 June!   Click here.

  • BNZ Aerobics & Hip Hop Festival

    BNZ Aerobics & Hip Hop Festival, a celebration of participation in dance and aerobics, will be held on Sunday 24 May.   Click here.

Sport Southland: Staff

You can give any member of the team a call on 03 211 2150, or see the email addresses below!

Brendon McDermott
Chief Executive

email: brendon.mcdermott@sportsouthland.co.nz
Brendon is Sport Southland's chief executive officer, taking up the role in early 2013 after more than five years with the organisation.
Brendon is a born and bred Southlander, and has been a Chartered Accountant since 1998. His previous management roles have included office systems, information technology and human resource responsibilities. 
Brendon has been passionate about sport from a young age. He was a Southland age group representative in both rugby and athletics, a New Zealand U18 Triple Jump Champion, and part of Star's winning Galbraith Shield team in 1999.
Brendon is now actively involved in Multisport having completed two Kepler Challenges, the Routeburn Classic run, a Wanaka half ironman and several Goldrush events. Brendon is actively involved in the Southland Triathlon & Multisport Club committee having been treasurer for a number of years and is also a board member of Triathlon New Zealand. During the winter Brendon also coaches his son's Star Rugby team.

Vanessa Hughey
General Manager

email: vanessa.hughey@sportsouthland.co.nz 
Originally from Auckland, Vanessa completed a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation in 2003.  Since then she has spent the past eight years working in management for various non-profit organisations across Southland and also more recently in Australia.  
Vanessa was instrumental in the development and introduction of Active Families, Tai Chi and Project K into the Southland region.  Vanessa brings management experience as well as programme development expertise after working in roles including Foundation for Youth Development Southland and YMCA Perth.  She has also returned to Sport Southland after managing the Active Lifestyles and Active Youth team in previous years.
Vanessa enjoys all forms of sport but in particular touch rugby and netball.  She is also an avid runner and has completed two half marathons.
As Community Sport Manager, Vanessa's role is to ensure the breadth and depth of support reaches across Southland and across sporting codes.  
The focus of the Community Sport team is about building capability of Regional Sports organisations, growing participation of young people and adults in organised sport as well as helping to increase the number and quality of volunteers/coaches in the Southland region.


Jared Cappie
Active Lifestyles Manager

email: jared.cappie@sportsouthland.co.nz 
Jared is a born and raised Southlander.  He studied at the Sports Institute of Otago graduating  with a Diploma in Sport Management & Coaching and a Certificate in Personal Training.  He also graduated from Otago University with a Bachelor of Physical Education majoring in Exercise Prescription and Professional Studies.
He worked as a rehabilitation trainer for a physiotherapist and fitness trainer for a gym before moving into a role as a tutor at the NZ Institute of Sport Rugby Academy. The following year he moved to Taupo and worked at the Lake Taupo PHO to help set up a new programme called Living Well, focussing on exercise and lifestyle support for people with chronic diseases.
In 2010 he moved to London where he worked as a respiratory physiologist, running spirometry (lung function)  clinics and assisting with pulmonary rehabilitation.
Jared enjoys lifting weights, running and playing rugby. Outside of his work with Sport Southland, he is the strength and conditioning coach for the Star premier rugby team and Southland Advanced Netball Academy. He was previously involved with Waitakere City premier rugby team and Auckland academy, development and emerging players rugby teams.
Matt Sillars
Events Manager

email: matt.sillars@sportsouthland.co.nz 
Matt joined Sport Southland in July 2009, coming from a role of four years as Area Manager for Real Journeys – Stewart Island Division. 
Matt has had previous experience in Outdoor Retailing and the Book and Stationery industries, including a stint as a Board member of Booksellers NZ. 
Matt was very familiar with Sport Southland, prior to his employment here. He has had many years experience in local Event Management on a voluntary basis – being heavily involved in many local Events like the BNZ Surf to City, Ascot Park Hotel Festival of Running,as well organising other adventure and multi-sport races.
Matt was also involved in the establishment of Sport Southland's Community Traffic Management Equipment Pool and is a qualified STMS, doing many Traffic Management Plans for Events and Clubs and Organisations.
Matt's role at Sport Southland includes providing support for existing key Events, providing advice and assistance to outside event organisers, further developing the existing Events programme and seeking new opportunities to bring or develop large-scale Events of significant economic benefit to the region  Matt's outside interests include off-road running  (Kepler Challenge), tramping and climbing. Matt has three children, Stephanie (21), Duncan (19) and Malcolm (15)

  Jerrie Valli
Communications and Marketing Manager

email: jerrie.valli@sportsouthland.co.nz 
Jerrie is responsible for Sport Southland's communications and marketing and joined the team in 2011.
She co-ordinates Sport Southland's media and marketing, website, social networking, branding and profile.
Jerrie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Otago University, and with a post-graduate diploma in Journalism from the University of Canterbury.
She worked as a sports journalist for the Southland Times, where she used to cover a wide range of Sport Southland's activities. Now she is enjoying being on the other side of it and promoting the great work Sport Southland does in the community.
She has recently returned to Southland from the UK where she lived in Edinburgh for two years, working at the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Sport and Exercise.
She enjoys running, and competing in the many and varied running events Southland has to offer and lives in Winton with her husband, Craig. 
Andrew Petrie
Community Sport Manager

email: andrew.petrie@sportsouthland.co.nz 
Andrew joined the team as Senior Community Sport Advisor at Sport Southland in October 2012, after three years as Centre Manager at Netball Wellington. Andrew is born and bred in Highlanders country, although up the road in Dunedin, and has returned south after three years in Wellington. Andrew brings RSO experience to the role after stints at Netball Wellington, Basketball Otago and Wellington Basketball. He also brings experience in events in both volunteer and management roles at New Zealand Masters Games (2002, 2004, 2006 & 2008) , NZ Uni Games, Rotorua (2008) and Rugby World Cup (2012). 
Andrew graduated from the University of Otago in 2002 with a Bachelor of Commerce (Management) and Diploma for Graduates (Sport and Leisure).
Andrew has been involved in a range of sports from a young age, however nowadays in his spare time he focuses on coaching and spectating. He has experience coaching cricket teams at age group representative and secondary school level in both Otago and Wellington and will be looking to further this in Southland.     
In his role as Senior Community Advisor, Andrew's focus is on three main areas: supporting the capability of Regional Sports Organisations, overseeing coach development and increasing participation in sport among those aged 16 and upwards.

Harley Ware
Eastern Southland Community Sport Advisor

email: harley.ware@sportsouthland.co.nz 
Harley joined the Sport Southland team in 2013, working out of our Gore office and focussing on Eastern Southland - an area he loves.
He previously worked for the YMCA, establishing a Sport and Recreation programme for NCEA Level 1 and 2 and has a background in personal training and group training that he still puts to good use.
Harley has played premier rugby in Southland, rates himself as a novice in duathlon and has competed in the MLT Moonshine Trail (an event organised by Sport Southland) four times, winning the 5km run in 2013.
He is a Level 1 trainer and owner of CrossFit in Gore, offering constantly varied full body functional movement sessions at high intensity.
As if that doesn't keep him active enough, running around after his three girls Bri, Tia and Indy completes a very active lifestyle!

Jane Naylor
Primary Schools Sport Advisor

email: jane.naylor@sportsouthland.co.nz 
Jane is originally from Garston where she excelled in athletics and running and gained a lifelong interest in all sports and outdoor activities. 
She completed a Bachelor of Education in 2008 and was a relief teacher for two years while looking after her daughter, before taking a part time teaching job in a year 5/6 class. From there she developed a passion for children to be more active as she saw the firsthand benefits of getting them outdoors and involved in physical activity. 
Jane brings this enthusiasm to her position at Sport Southland where her vision is to increase teacher confidence to teach P.E. and to raise the number of children involved in organised club and school sport.
Jane and her partner Jason have three children Toby, Quinn and Tessa.
  Luciana Garcia
Coach Development Advisor

email: luciana.garcia@sportsouthland.co.nz
Info coming soon! 

Kate McCartney
Active Lifestyles Advisor
email: kate.mccartney@sportsouthland.co.nz
Info coming soon... 
Ann Robbie
Active Lifestyles Advisor

email: ann.robbie@sportsouthland.co.nz 
Ann has worked at Sport Southland since 2006, working on Green Prescription and Active Lifestyles programmes encouraging  and supporting people to become physically active.
Her role involves co-ordinating walking programmes including the BNZ Active Walkers KiwiSeniors as well as Fit 4 Life and Aqua jogging and helping with events.
Outside of work she is involved in volunteering for the community of Ryal Bush and is an active member of Winton Lions Club and RSA. She is currently working with Venture Southland recording rolls of honour and memorial boards for Southland region.
A large garden and lifestyle block keeps her active and along with playing bagpipes for the Waimatuku Highland Pipe Band.
Ann is married to Peter and is a Grandma - fondly called 'Grannie Annie'!

  Grace Jones
Events Support

email: grace.jones@sportsouthland.co.nz
Info coming soon! 
  Tanea Hawkins
Finance Manager
email: tanea.hawkins@sportsouthland.co.nz
Info coming soon!
Susan Harrington

email: suzie.harrington@sportsouthland.co.nz
Susan is Sport Southland's receptionist of the year for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and is once again a strong contender for 2014.  One of her most special traits is that she anticipates the needs of our customers, which is why she has excelled as a member of the corporate team at Sport Southland.
Susan and her husband Paul have two daughters, Brydon and Maggie. 
Susan (more informally known as Suzie) is a strong supporter of both her girls' sports, including being the manager of the Verdon A netball team, and the vocal parent on the side line at basketball games.


Kelly Braithwaite
email: kelly.braithwaite@sportsouthland.co.nz
Info coming soon!

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