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The future looks bright for athlete, Tayla Brunger


The Mitre 10 MEGA Wanganui Future Champions Trust is delighted to announce their financial support for born and bred, talented Whanganui Athlete, Tayla Brunger. After a very challenging year, for a number of our young athletes looking to further their careers offshore, Tayla’s commitment to her Sport will finally see her taking the next step in the United States.


Her new home will be Colorado State University. Whilst Tayla has received a full scholarship, the support from Mitre 10 MEGA Future Champions Trust will greatly assist with travel to the United States. Tayla understands the concept of giving back to a community that has supported her through her athletic career to date and looks forward to eventually bringing her learning home to support other up-and-coming athletes. This was just one of the key aspects of Tayla’s approach to her Sport that impressed the Future Champions Trust.


Whanganui has a significant number of talented young sports people and the Future Champions Trust recognises that they often need a hand up to take them to the world stage. True talent is achieved through latent talent and a huge amount of hard work, and the Trust exists to support these young role models.


Philippa Baker-Hogan, Chair of the Trust, explains, “The Mitre 10 MEGA Future Champions Trust, has a goal to support our young high performing athletes to move to the next level of competition. The happy outcome is these same athletes then give their knowledge and learnings to the Whanganui community. Inspiring the next pool of up-and-coming athletes. It’s a great cycle of reciprocity that keeps sports healthy. Tayla’s persistence to push ahead and reach her goal, in difficult times, is testimony to her passion and tenacity. Her generosity, and enthusiasm to share knowledge with others makes her the ideal Future Champions recipient.


Tayla Brunger, 100 and 400 metre Senior Girls Secondary School Champion, at just 18 years old, is facing the challenges of a Covid-19 world with her upcoming departure. Tayla is unphased by the last 12 months and is confident about the future. Tayla describes the last year, saying, “Recruitment to   Colorado State University happened before Covid-19 lockdown. Studying and competing in the United States has been a long-term goal of mine, and I’m hugely excited. To be honest, lockdown made training easier. I had no problem at all with motivation. I could still train twice a day, but I didn’t have to get up early or training later in the evening, as I normally would, due to lockdown. Training gave me a reason to get out of the house and have some time on my own. There are a number of parks and hills near home, so that part was easy.”


Tayla continues, “I’m really thankful for the support Mitre 10 MEGA Future Champions Trust have provided. The Trust has supported me in the past, when I competed in Australia as part of the New Zealand Schools team.”

In August this year, Tayla will be making her way to the United States, a long way from home, friends and family. Tayla doesn’t know anyone in the States, but track athletes have reached out to offer their help and advice. Collectively, we can take our hats off to this young woman whose positivity and enthusiasm will make her a great ambassador for Whanganui, New Zealand, and the sport she represents.


Go well, Tayla, from the Mitre 10 MEGA Wanganui Future Champions Trust, and the Whanganui community.




Letter of response from Tanya


4 April 2021


Dear Future Champions Trustees


“Success is not what you have but who you are” – Bo Bennett


In 2020 I graduated from Whanganui Collegiate. The experiences I had and the challenges I faced over my 4 years at High School made me stronger, more resilient and strengthened my determination to continue to strive for excellence in all aspects of life. I have always been committed to being the best I can be and am intrinsically motivated to work hard to achieve my hopes and dreams.


Running track is my passion and it was always a dream to run for my country, a dream I was lucky enough to achieve in 2017 when I was first selected to complete in the All Schools competition in Australia. Many other opportunities to compete both nationally and internationally followed, all of which could not have been possible without the amazing support of the Future Champions Trust and the wider Whanganui community. I have not and will never forget your kindness and support.


While in lock down early last year I had time to put my future goals into perspective and made the tough decision to leave Collegiate in March, move to Tauranga to work and train and complete my studies via correspondence. With the support of my family and friends I was able to finish secondary school, passing with excellence and work towards winning both Secondary School and Club Nationals as well as securing a full scholarship at a Division I College in the States. Three very big goals but I knew they were all achievable if I put the work in.


Moving away from home was challenging but we all need to make sacrifices to live out our dreams and the results I achieved made it all worthwhile. I competed in the NZ Secondary Schools in December 2020 winning both the 100m and the 400m senior girls titles and then went on to bring home 3 gold medals and a silver from the NZ club nationals, winning the under 20 4x100m, 4x400m, and 100m titles and coming second in the 200m. The icing on the cake was securing a 4 year scholarship to attend Colorado State University starting in the fall of 2021.


While I have secured a full scholarship there are still a number of costs associated with moving and settling in the States. Covid 19 has, and continues to make this move a challenge but it is the generosity of the Future Champions Trust that makes the next step just that little bit easier. I want to sincerely thank you all for once again supporting me in the next part of my sporting and educational journey and to say thank you for the part you have played in getting me to where I am today. I, along with my family, am so extremely grateful for the support you have given me over the years. I am so thankful for all the opportunities I have been given and never take anything for granted. I know there will continue to be ups and downs along the way but promise to continue to work hard to set and achieve new goals. If I want to achieve something, I know it takes blood, sweat and tears to achieve it (I never hope for it more than I work for it).


Thank you again for everything and I hope I can repay your kindness and generosity in some small way in the future.


Yours Sincerely Tayla Brunger



October 2019


Mitre 10 Mega Wanganui Future Champions recipients presented with grants at Ray White Whanganui Secondary School Sports Awards


Four new Future Whanganui champions were presented with grants to support them in their future sporting endeavors at the Ray White Whanganui Secondary School Sports Awards at Whanganui Collegiate last night.


The Mitre 10 Mega Wanganui Future Champions Trust aims to give Whanganui people and businesses an opportunity to support our talented sporting youth with a hand up to reach their full potential at international level.


The recipients for this funding round were:


Rebecca Tamali (Touch Rugby): Selected to compete for the New Zealand U18 Girl team in the Youth Trans-Tasman series held in Newcastle in January 2020.


Aspen Fell (Roller Skating): Selected to compete in the World Skate Oceania Roller Skating Championships held in Melbourne in October 2019.


Jordyn Leiasamaivao - Turvey (Beach Volleyball): Selected to tour and compete with the New Zealand Junior Men’s Beach Volleyball held in California in July 2019.


Tara Raj (Golf): Compete in at least 15 national tournaments throughout 2020.


The athletes and their representatives were invited to attend the function, where the trust and its supporters acknowledged their achievements to date and wished them well for their future endeavors.


Former NZ Cycling Coach Ron Cheatley led the presentations with naming Sponsors Hayden & Sarah Gibson from Mitre 10 MEGA Wanganui. A total of $4000 was presented to the four athletes to assist them in their up and coming performances.


On behalf of the Trust Ron acknowledged the enthusiastic and vital support of Hayden, Sarah and their Team, “Mitre 10 MEGA Wanganui epitomises the amazing support many Whanganui Business’s continue to give and the Gibson’s are rock-stars in their belief in our sporting youth” says Ron.


On behalf of Mitre 10 MEGA Wanganui, Hayden says “We are passionate about the value of sport in young people’s lives and the Future Champions Trust is a great partner for us, along with Sport Whanganui and the Tough Kid event”.


The Mitre 10 Mega Wanganui Future Champions Trust has been operating for seven years and has granted over $62,000 to forty-seven individual athletes.  We thank all our sponsors and supporters for everything they do to support our high achieving young athletes.


Funding rounds are held twice annually at the end of March and September and levels of support are appreciated and interested businesses are encouraged to contact The Trust from the contact page here, or phone Philippa Baker-Hogan on 027 272 795.



May 2019


Mitre 10 Mega Future Champions Trust presents first grants of 2019 to talented young athletes.


Left to Right - Sarah Gibson (Mitre 10 MEGA Wanganui), Renee Teers, Lucas Thompson, Drew Brenan, Jordan Herewini (slightly behind), Chase Morpeth, Jack Clifton, Ron Cheatley & Philippa Baker-Hogan ( FCT Trustees).


The first Mitre 10 Mega Future Champions Trust round of 2019 has granted $9,500 to seven successful young athletes from Whanganui.


Velo Ronny’s Bicycle Store hosted a ceremony last night to present the grants and acknowledge the individual achievements. Former Olympic cycling coach Dayle Cheatley and Cath Cheatley former Olympic cyclist both gave inspirational talks on their individual journeys to success leaving athletes with some valuable advice for their sporting endeavors.


Naming rights sponsor Mitre 10 Mega Wanganui presented the grants on the evening, wishing them the best for the future.


The Mitre 10 Mega Future Champions Trust aims to support our regions talented sporting youth with a “hand up” to reach their full potential at an international level in their chosen sport.


The Trust has been operating for four years and has granted $58,163 to forty seven individuals assisting them in participating in international events like World Championships and other major events in their chosen sport. Funding rounds are held twice yearly, at the end of March and September with the latest round providing grants to:


Lucas Thompson – Kayaking, selected to compete in the Asia Pacific Regatta in Lake Karapiro New Zealand in May 2019 and the Junior World Championship in Romania held in August 2019.


Renee Teers – Speed Skating, selected to compete in the World Speed Skating Championship held in Spain in July 2019.


Chase Morpeth – Speed Skating, selected to compete in the Oceania Speed Skating Championship held in Australia in April 2019.


Drew Brenan – Speed Skating, selected to compete in the Oceania Speed Skating Championship held in Australia in April 2019.


Bruce (Jack) Jackson Clifton – Canoeing, selected to represent New Zealand in the CRNZ u18 team at the Asia Pacific Cup held in Cambridge New Zealand in May 2019 and the ICF Junior World Canoe Sprint Championship held in August in Romania.


Joshua Valentine – Speed Skating, selected to compete in the Oceania Speed Skating Championship held in Australia in April 2019.


Jordan Herewini – Basketball, selected to attend the New Zealand Basketball Academy tour to Las Vegas.


Future Champion Trust Chairman and Olympian, Philippa Baker-Hogan says, “Future Champions Trust is incredibly grateful for Mitre 10 Mega and our sponsors for enabling us to keep supporting Whanganui’s promising young sports people to continue their pathway in high performance sport. One of our earlier recipients, Max Brown has just left New Zealand with the Elite Sprint Kayak Team, selected to represent New Zealand at World Cup events and aiming for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Max regularly talks about how the support of family, the local kayaking fraternity and Future Champions Trust helped him to achieve his goals.”


The Trust would like to acknowledge and thank their sponsors Mitre 10 Mega Wanganui, H&A Print, Display Associates, Inferno Design, Sport Whanganui, Central City Pharmacy, Wanganui Lions Club, Doyle & Associates Ltd, Hogan Osteo Plus, Kelly Associates, Richard Millward & associates, Markham & Partners.


Funding rounds are held twice yearly, the next funding round closes on the 30th of September. The Trust encourages athletes interested in applying to visit the criteria page and to access an application form.


Want to support the Future Champions Trust?

Download the Supporters Form here

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