Highlanders and the Steel know where to come looking for future stars

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Arrowtown School could soon be producing a few future sporting stars after appointing its first full-time
sports coordinator.

Paul Winders takes up the new position after shifting from his previous role as deputy principal at Riverton Primary in Southland.

From this term, he’ll lead PE and sports at Arrowtown as well as overseeing outside activity programmes.

Winders, 43, will also help identify sporting talent early on, steering promising local kids in the right direction.

“As well as looking at individual and team sports, I’ll be overseeing things like the swimming and winter sports programmes,” he says. “I’ll also make sure we have some good competitions going on at lunchtimes.”

He adds: “If teachers come to me and identify that youngsters have strengths and abilities at certain sports, then I can also talk to parents and suss out the right options available to them in terms of the right coaching and
encouragement.”

Keen sportsman Winders – who’s engaged to fellow Arrowtown School teacher Janey Wallace – has a love of long-distance running and has raced the Motatapu and Routeburn tracks.

He’s also a talented musician and recently recorded a solo album for release on the internet.

But Winders insists the “all-encompassing” job in Arrowtown will command his full attention.

School principal Robin Harris believes the new appointment – which will take some pressure off other already-busy mainstream teachers – won’t just benefit sports-minded kids but will improve the overall fitness of pupils in general.

“It’s very exciting for us and Paul’s role will be to target everyone, not just the gifted children,” he says.

“As kids get older, their activity levels tend to drop and they spend more time watching TV.

“Encouraging them into physical activity from an early age can only be a good thing.”