Shailer gearing up for Glasgow

23:30, Jul 02 2014
Trevor Shailer
Trevor Shailer

Although Trevor Shailer's mind has been partly on the upcoming Commonwealth Games, he has also been spreading himself around Manawatu.

The new Sport Manawatu chief executive knows the organisation needs a higher profile than it has had.

So this week he was off to Dannevirke, where a staff member is based, and will have tea with his grandmother en route.

In a week's time he will be off to Glasgow as the Games team's deputy chef de mission in what he says will be his swansong.

"It was my intention to finish in London [after the Olympics]," Shailer said.

When he comes back his focus will be on his new job, to show the community the range of work his 27 staff do.


Many are surprised to find out the breadth of it.

So far he has met Sport Manawatu's main funders and found it interesting to see how the Palmerston North City Council works when last week he made his first presentation, about Manawatu's Legends of Sport.

He admits he won't get his feet firmly on the ground until his family moves from Wellington.

Shailer's first challenge after the Games will be to do something about Sports House.

Sport Manawatu needs a bigger home urgently, purpose-built so staff aren't divided between two buildings.

At his level there is plenty of corporate gobbledygook used and Shailer says, after many years in Wellington, he will "try to unbundle all the jargon".

When he gets back from Glasgow in six weeks' time he will have been to three Commonwealth Games, two Winter Olympics and three Summer Olympics.

Something he doesn't do is attend opening ceremonies.

"I never march," he said. "The only time I did was when I was in the team as an athlete.

"Our job is to stay back and look after the athletes who aren't allowed to march."

That always includes the swimmers who never march because they always compete on day one.

At Glasgow he will work towards schooling up a successor. Shailer might be found vacuuming the floor, carrying bags, helping athletes get on the bus . . .

He helps smaller sports who have fewer support staff, steering them away from the temptations of the 24-hour food hall.

Sports such as hockey have the likes of Emily Naylor and Kayla Sharland who been to many Games and have the experience to cope.

New Zealand's contingent at Glasgow will be the second-largest sent to a Commonwealth Games, 235. Shailer will specifically be looking out for the Manawatu athletes.

On arrival, Shailer will help set up the athletes' lounge, usually the envy of other teams. It is a place for athletes to hang out and not be overawed.

"My philosophy is that if we come in they're giving us licence not to talk about sport."

"We have an endless number of countries wanting to check out what we're doing."

Meanwhile, Shailer stays active. He has a beach house at Waitarere Beach near Levin and at the bowling club there he has twice won the junior singles and this year the pairs.


Recent NZ Commonwealth Games team sizes and medal tally Delhi 2010 – 190 athletes, 36 medals. Melbourne 2006 – 249 athletes, 31 medals Manchester 2002 – 200 athletes, 44 medals (Most medals won was 58 at Auckland 1990).

Manawatu Standard