A new partnership forged with Whakaaro set the objective to fast track the ability to form trusting, open and honest relationships within a new-look Splice Construction Magic team.

The Bay-of-Plenty company Whakaaro has joined forces with the Magic to provide a leadership development program that players and management have been working through.

Whakaaro plays a significant role in bringing a team together which Magic General Manager Gary Dawson said was vital with five new players in this year’s squad.

“We have a core group of new players joining the Magic legacy and this partnership was an opportunity to have an open learning environment to help our individuals navigate change,” he said.

“Whakaaro’s core outcomes are to inspire, navigate and connect – something which is important to the Magic for our players and our ability to inspire and connect with our netball family and community.

“This has been really key for us this year and we look forward to continuing our work with Whakaaro.”

Whakaaro, which provides programs founded in the unique culture of Te Ao Māori, comprises professionals experienced in achieving and developing leadership excellence beyond the netball industry.  

Whakaaro Founder and Director Reuben Araroa said they were excited to join the Magic whānau given the opportunity they had ahead of them. To support the development of a tangible change in the way they thought about themselves, their team mates and how they collectively interpret and process the challenges they would face through the season, was an exciting prospect for Whakaaro.

“Our core purpose is to transform the way leaders think, to transform the lives of the people they lead,” he said.

“It’s been a privilege to understand and appreciate these professional athletes beyond the court as ordinary people doing extraordinary things. As we know leadership capability off court can and will influence outcomes on court and this is no different in other industries.

As always, a particular focus for us is to develop Māori employees and in this case players. 12 of the squad are of Māori descent from various iwi across Aotearoa, so helping them connect with their culture as a primary pathway to higher learning is what we are passionate about” said Ria Apiata, Whakaaro Director.

Seeing some of the younger Māori talent within Magic growing and learning from the whole experience has been very satisfying for us given Māori participation in netball within the Waikato Bay of Plenty region is high. These current players will inspire the next generation.

“This partnership was the right fit for us given they were a new group of individuals coming together for the first time, in a short time frame under significant environmental pressures such as COVID. Getting them to connect as a team at an accelerated rate fully focused on the objective to change the outcomes for individuals and the organisation is a privilege and honour.”

“We’re really excited to see how this partnership can grow and how our presence can help them manage and process the expectations of the season ahead.”

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