Sport Tasman goes Coast to Coast

Dale Ashworth has gone coast to coast.

The former operations manager at Endeavour Park, Picton is now the Sport Tasman community sport advisor in Westport.

The 42-year-old, who moved with her family to the West Coast town in early 2018, believes the skills which helped her make a success of the Picton facility during its formative years are transferable to her new role, which she began in March.  

“I feel the [Sport Tasman] role is all about community. Whether it be assisting, advising or organising events and programmes locally, it’s all about helping to keep the community active. Although I do think Westport seems to already be a very active town!” she said.

“While I haven’t been a long-serving member of this community, I feel that a lot of small towns work in very similar ways. Hopefully the methods I used in Picton will work similarly well in Westport. This community have been exceptionally welcoming and supportive from the day we moved here.”

Although she sees several similarities between her current and previous roles, she suggests the Sport Tasman position will allow her to be more specialised. 

“The pavilion job was very broad-ranging, including community and commercial hire, bar and staff management, hosting weddings and community events, reporting to a volunteer board, Sport NZ and council; along with all that it had to run as self-sustainably as possible, whereas this role is more specific. I am looking forward to being able to put all my effort into just advising on community sport, recreation and events, particularly at a Governance level, allowing me to have more of a focus and not spread myself too thin.”

An outdoor enthusiast, Dale has been involved in various sports and activities, including netball, touch rugby and scuba diving. She said that managing the [Endeavour Park] pavilion gave her the opportunity to work with other sports as well such as football, cricket and Waka Ama along with programmes such as Sit and Be Fit and Tumble Tots.

“I feel like I have a fairly wide knowledge of various sports and community programmes after having done the Picton job, which should serve me well over here.”

Dale describes the Buller region as “a literal gold mine of outdoor activity”.

“With its walking trails and cycling tracks, from short walks such as the beautiful Charming Creek to the amazing Old Ghost Road, the area is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream in terms of activity.” 

Dale grew up in Picton and went to school there before heading out of town for tertiary education. She returned to the town at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound in 2006 and spent the next 12 years there before heading west.

Dale’s husband, Ben Ashworth, is retail manager at Martin’s Mitre 10 in Westport, and their two children, Jessica, 15, and eight-year-old Lily are enjoying all the opportunities available at their schools in the seaside town.

Over the past year she and her family have become familiar with some of what the region has to offer.

“It’s the outdoor activities that my family and I absolutely love … being able to walk along a beach where yours are the only footprints is pretty incredible … the bush is full of birdlife, green and gorgeous. It’s pretty special.”

“I still miss Picton a little, after knowing the community so well for so long, but we love it over here and Marlborough is not too far away, and it’s a good excuse for the mates to come on holiday to visit me!” she added.

Dale replaces former Buller community sport advisor Wendy Bettjeman and can be contacted on or 027 2236 900.

Written by Pete Jones, Sport Tasman

Article added: Tuesday 23 April 2019


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