John Hornal retires after 28 years at the helm of CSW

John Hornal retires today after 28 years of being the captain of College Sport Wellington.

John Hornal retires today after 28 years of being the captain of College Sport Wellington.

Whenever secondary school sport is mentioned in the Wellington region, John Hornal’s name always comes up.  John Hornal has been the Executive Director of College Sport Wellington (CSW) since its inception in 1989.  He has grown CSW from its humble beginnings into the biggest “sports club” in Wellington and has had a big impact on the way sport has evolved in the Wellington Region.

Before establishing College Sport Wellington in 1989, John was the head of PE of Newlands College for 17 years from 1972-1989.  He was instrumental in the creation of College Sport Wellington, with the support of local Principals.

The idea of College Sport Wellington was born when it was recognised that if college sport in Wellington was to progress and advance, a co-ordinated approach was needed.  Since then, John has cultivated a flourishing sport organisation that partners with Regional Sport Organisations to help bring sport to secondary school age students.  In 2016, 16,133 students (60%) of secondary school students in Wellington played sport for their school, equating to 31,106 sporting involvements.  Over the 28 years that John has been at the helm at College Sport Wellington, the number of students that have played sport under College Sport Wellington is likely to be well over 100,000 individuals.

John’s passion is ensuring that every secondary school student has the opportunity to represent their school at sport.   This includes setting up events for Athletics with Disabilities (AWD’s) for athletics, basketball, football, and ten pin bowling events, which John continues to be fully immersed in the administration of.

Introducing and encouraging the uptake of new sports has been something that John has advocated for over the years.  Sports such as futsal, floorball, ki-o-rahi, and handball have been introduced into the portfolio of sports that Wellington secondary school students can choose from, and John has been instrumental in developing this process.  Futsal is now the fastest gowning sport in Wellington and New Zealand.  Football New Zealand recognised John’s willingness and excitement to pilot and promote the game to Wellington secondary school students as one of the catalysts to its significant current success.

Partnering with organisations has been an important component of the College Sport Wellington culture.  Some of his significant partnership achievements include:

  • Creating student Coach and Official courses with Sport Wellington to increase school sport capacity.
  • Utilising KiwiSport funding for smaller sports to promote their sport to secondary school students.
  • Creating sport leaders of tomorrow programme with Ignite Sport

John has also contributed to secondary school sport beyond a local level, and has shown leadership in the secondary school sport sector at both a regional and national level as shown below by his other significant roles within sport.

This article from the Dominion Post in 2011, while old, sums up John’s career at College Sport Wellington, and how important and influential hehas been to the Wellington sporting landscape.

Other significant roles within sport:

  • Member of the SPARC Advisory group that led to formation of New Zealand Secondary Sport Council (NZSSSC).
  • NZSSSC Board member from 2002-2008 and 2012-2014.
  • Member of the New Zealand Schools Rugby Union Executive, currently President.
  • Former founding member of the Hurricanes Youth Rugby Council Executive
  • Founding member of the Wellington Secondary Schools Rugby Union
  • Chair of the Hurricanes Regional Sport Directors for the last 15 years
  • Former Member of NZ Inline Hockey Executive

Significant Awards

  • Life Member of the Hurricanes Youth Rugby Council
  • Life Member of the Wellington Secondary Schools Rugby Union
  • NZSSSC – Champion of School Sport

Thank you John for your inspiring leadership, inclusiveness, creativity, and passion in ensuring that secondary school students have had an opportunity to represent their school at sport.