She has worked with New Zealand Rugby League and New Zealand's medal-winning Olympic sailors amongst many of the country's top athletes, now Nardine Oakes will bring her strength and conditioning experience to Southland's sports teams, coaches and athletes.
Oakes has recently moved from Auckland to Invercargill to take up a fulltime role split between Sport Southland, Rugby Southland and Netball South.
She will work with Rugby Southland and Netball South's academy programmes, each for one day per week, and spend her remaining three working days with Academy Southland athletes, as well as those identified by Regional Sports Organisations.
The new role is a varied one, made possible by a grant from the ILT Foundation, in a bid to make specialist strength and conditioning services accessible to more of Southland sportspeople.
Oakes may be new to the region, but she is no stranger to strength and conditioning, having worked with the New Zealand women's rugby league team, the Kiwi Ferns, who finished runners-up in the World Cup this year, the country's top Olympic sailors, the New Zealand Warriors, the Northern Mystics and Counties Manukau and Auckland Rugby's development teams.
"Moving down here and taking on this role is a fantastic opportunity. My other roles have largely been assistant-type [positions], so to be able to have some leadership and take some direction with regards to strength and conditioning for amateur athletes here in Southland, that's great," Oakes said.
"It's a really diverse role, working with so many different athletes, coaches and sports, and essentially working for three different organisations, so it's a good mix and it's exciting."
Sport Southland chief executive Brendon McDermott was confident emerging Southland athletes would reap the benefits of working with Oakes.
"Nardine has really valuable strength and conditioning experience, not only reflected in the teams and athletes she has worked with, but also in terms of her passion for it," he said.
"Simon Jones has done some fantastic work with Academy Southland athletes and individual sports, however, he is now fully employed by High Performance Sport New Zealand to meet the demands of our high performance athletes in the province. Nardine's focus will be on that talent development sector and growing the knowledge of the value of strength and conditioning within sport."
Any sport interested in working with Oakes can contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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