Renee Holmes one of 11 recipients of scholarship programme

Unlocking their talent.

Unlocking their talent.

The 11 recipients are Renee Holmes (rugby, front row, far right), Isa Norman-Bell (touch rugby, rugby), Mahina Paul (touch rugby, rugby) Holly Stewart (tennis), Lucy Makaea (surf lifesaving), Samalulu Clifton (surf lifesaving), Dhys Faleafaga (rugby), Ainsleyana Puleiata (netball), Theresa Ngata (netball), Leah Mafua (basketball) and Sharne Pupuke-Robati (basketball). Picture supplied
GISBORNE rugby player Renee Holmes is in the first New Zealand Harlequins women’s rugby squad selected. File picture by Hawke's Bay Today

Renee Holmes is a glass-half-full sort of young woman.

She “wasn’t really big on school”, so she focused on lunchtime sport as something to look forward to each day.

This week, at 18, she was named as one of 11 inaugural recipients of the Tania Dalton Foundation scholarship programme.

For the next three years, these promising sportswomen will be given financial, mentoring and personal development support to “unlock their talent and enable them to live their biggest life”.

Holmes has always loved sport. First it was taekwon-do, then football . . . for years, football was her sports career focus.

But her awareness of other codes broadened during her time at Gisborne Intermediate School.

“We had so many opportunities,” she said. “Basketball, cricket, rugby, touch, sevens, football, ultimate frisbee, kio rahi . . . I just loved being outside and playing in a team. I’m not an individual sportsperson.

“And I wasn’t really big on school. But I knew I had to go, and the best way to keep myself enthusiastic about going to school was to think about the lunchtime sport.”

At high school, her main sports were football, rugby, kio rahi and frisbee.

Holmes stopped playing rugby for a while and attended Massey High School in Year 11, boarding in Auckland and playing women’s national league football for the New Zealand under-17 girls’ side in 2015.

But the pull of family and home brought her back to Gisborne. She did Year 12 at Gisborne Girls’ High School and started playing rugby again. Her last year of serious football was 2015.

In early 2016, Holmes started playing sevens rugby for Gisborne Girls’ High School and in December that year they went to the Condors in Auckland.

Holmes was keen to get into the 15-a-side game but Gisborne has no women’s competition, so last year she played club rugby in Hawke’s Bay, commuting between Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay twice a week — once for training and again for games.

Most valuable player

At season’s end she was named women’s most valuable player for Hastings Rugby and Sports Club.

Having caught the eye of provincial selectors, Holmes played for the Hawke’s Bay Tuis in the Farah Palmer Cup championship division, usually at second five-eighth or centre.

With 2017 her last year at school, Holmes was ready to take the next step in her sporting development. Last week she moved to Tauranga and has set her sights on making the Bay of Plenty Volcanix, just promoted from the championship to the premier division of the Farah Palmer Cup.

“They didn’t approach me,” Holmes said. “One of my friends moved to the Bay of Plenty and, having seen her excel so much, I really wanted to play for the Volcanix.

“Competition for places is strong but I’ve gone to training for academy sevens, and been to a Bay of Plenty gym session and club training.”

Tauranga is also handily placed between Gisborne, where her father, Laurie, and brother live, and Auckland, where her mother, Jennifer Scott, and four sisters live.

Holmes sees sport as her career, at least in the foreseeable future. She hopes that within the next 10 years she will have appeared in a world cup and an Olympic Games in rugby or sevens. In the long run, she would love to make the New Zealand sevens team — the speed of the game appeals to her.

If she achieves her goals, she will look back on the support of her father as being pivotal in her sporting development.

“Dad is my main supporter,” she said.

Now Holmes is looking forward to continuing her progress with the help of a mentor provided under the Tania Dalton Foundation scholarship programme.

On Monday the 11 scholarship recipients met with former Silver Ferns netballer Bernice Mene and did a “getting to know yourself” test to help in the process of being matched with a main mentor to suit their personality.

The Farah Palmer Cup season starts in September. Holmes will look to make her mark in Bay of Plenty club rugby to push her claims for a place in the Volcanix.

Born on December 21, 1999, as the world counted down to a new millennium, Renee Holmes has a similar sense of anticipation as the future beckons.

Renee Holmes is a glass-half-full sort of young woman.

She “wasn’t really big on school”, so she focused on lunchtime sport as something to look forward to each day.

This week, at 18, she was named as one of 11 inaugural recipients of the Tania Dalton Foundation scholarship programme.

For the next three years, these promising sportswomen will be given financial, mentoring and personal development support to “unlock their talent and enable them to live their biggest life”.

Holmes has always loved sport. First it was taekwon-do, then football . . . for years, football was her sports career focus.

But her awareness of other codes broadened during her time at Gisborne Intermediate School.

“We had so many opportunities,” she said. “Basketball, cricket, rugby, touch, sevens, football, ultimate frisbee, kio rahi . . . I just loved being outside and playing in a team. I’m not an individual sportsperson.

“And I wasn’t really big on school. But I knew I had to go, and the best way to keep myself enthusiastic about going to school was to think about the lunchtime sport.”

At high school, her main sports were football, rugby, kio rahi and frisbee.

Holmes stopped playing rugby for a while and attended Massey High School in Year 11, boarding in Auckland and playing women’s national league football for the New Zealand under-17 girls’ side in 2015.

But the pull of family and home brought her back to Gisborne. She did Year 12 at Gisborne Girls’ High School and started playing rugby again. Her last year of serious football was 2015.

In early 2016, Holmes started playing sevens rugby for Gisborne Girls’ High School and in December that year they went to the Condors in Auckland.

Holmes was keen to get into the 15-a-side game but Gisborne has no women’s competition, so last year she played club rugby in Hawke’s Bay, commuting between Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay twice a week — once for training and again for games.

Most valuable player

At season’s end she was named women’s most valuable player for Hastings Rugby and Sports Club.

Having caught the eye of provincial selectors, Holmes played for the Hawke’s Bay Tuis in the Farah Palmer Cup championship division, usually at second five-eighth or centre.

With 2017 her last year at school, Holmes was ready to take the next step in her sporting development. Last week she moved to Tauranga and has set her sights on making the Bay of Plenty Volcanix, just promoted from the championship to the premier division of the Farah Palmer Cup.

“They didn’t approach me,” Holmes said. “One of my friends moved to the Bay of Plenty and, having seen her excel so much, I really wanted to play for the Volcanix.

“Competition for places is strong but I’ve gone to training for academy sevens, and been to a Bay of Plenty gym session and club training.”

Tauranga is also handily placed between Gisborne, where her father, Laurie, and brother live, and Auckland, where her mother, Jennifer Scott, and four sisters live.

Holmes sees sport as her career, at least in the foreseeable future. She hopes that within the next 10 years she will have appeared in a world cup and an Olympic Games in rugby or sevens. In the long run, she would love to make the New Zealand sevens team — the speed of the game appeals to her.

If she achieves her goals, she will look back on the support of her father as being pivotal in her sporting development.

“Dad is my main supporter,” she said.

Now Holmes is looking forward to continuing her progress with the help of a mentor provided under the Tania Dalton Foundation scholarship programme.

On Monday the 11 scholarship recipients met with former Silver Ferns netballer Bernice Mene and did a “getting to know yourself” test to help in the process of being matched with a main mentor to suit their personality.

The Farah Palmer Cup season starts in September. Holmes will look to make her mark in Bay of Plenty club rugby to push her claims for a place in the Volcanix.

Born on December 21, 1999, as the world counted down to a new millennium, Renee Holmes has a similar sense of anticipation as the future beckons.

GISBORNE’S Renee Holmes is among the 11 young woman this week named in the inaugural intake of the Tania Dalton Foundation scholarship programme.

The programme honours the late Silver Ferns netballer and keen sportswoman, who died a week after collapsing during a social touch rugby game in Takapuna.

Founded by Dalton’s husband Duane, the programme provides financial, mentorship and personal development support over a three-year period to young women from various circumstances, with the aim of unlocking their talent and helping them reach their ultimate potential.

“One of the main goals of the programme is for these young women to then contribute back to their communities and continue the legacy for future generations, and that’s something we’re really excited about,” said Duane.

Mentors involved in the programme include well-known and respected friends and colleagues of Dalton’s from a range of disciplines including sport, business, finance and media.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    ​Do you support nurses in their rejection of pay and working condition offers, and their plan to strike twice next month?