Kia ora, I’m Damien and I’m the Community Connector for Taakaro-ora – Active Wellbeing. Over the past 11 years I have been straddling both the academic world and the sport and recreation world, drawing from both to improve health and wellbeing outcomes in the community.
This began with my Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science (Hons) at Wintec and most recently a PhD at the University of Waikato exploring the development and social characteristics of parkour in New Zealand.
I’m excited to use my education, local government, and sport connections from across Hamilton to enable and empower young people within Te Pae Here Kaahui Ako (the North East Hamilton Community of Learning).
Outside of Sport Waikato, I am heavily involved with the Hamilton parkour community as an active practitioner and coach. I also volunteer as the CEO for Parkour NZ and as an Elected Director for the international federation Parkour Earth. I also enjoy exploring the many playgrounds, parks, and trails throughout the Waikato with my wife and daughters.