ko te manaaki i ngā kaihākinakina | caring for New Zealand's sports community

This page is a brief outline of who we are; however if you would like to know more about Sports Chaplaincy NZ, please contact us.

Vision and mission


Governance board 

National Office staff

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Vision and mission


Our Vision
To be a significant provider of mental, emotional and spiritual support through pastoral care and mentoring to Aotearoa New Zealand’s sporting communities.
Our Mission
Providing trained, dedicated Sports Chaplains who offer pastoral care, mentoring and support to athletes, organisations and also the wider sporting community whānau. We work with people irrespective of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality or disability, for the purpose of achieving positive life outcomes in the communities we serve.
Picture of swimmers on starting blocks for About Sports Chaplaincy NZ page


SCNZ began in 2009 as ENGAGE. This was a Sports Chaplaincy programme for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. During the World Cup, ENGAGE provided chaplains for teams, officials, and families of athletes. As a result, we understood the need for pastoral care, mentoring and support in sport. Then, in 2013 we registered as a charity.

We now provide this service across New Zealand through a team of 5 Regional Leaders and 53 Sports Chaplains. We support around 1000 athletes, club staff, and families, in school sports teams, grassroots clubs, as well as in professional sport and at large scale events.

SCNZ has developed a high-quality training and accreditation process. As a result our chaplains are equipped and maintain high standards of pastoral care skills for use in sport.

Sports Chaplaincy began in 1828 when it was identified that sport could play an important part in character development. This service has been offered at major events since 1972, including at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. There has also been a global growth of Sports Chaplaincy within schools, clubs, and elite level sport.

Governance board

Photo of Martyn Norrie

Martyn Norrie, MBA, FCLA, ANZIIF (Fellow)


Business leader, organisational coach, strategic thinker

Photo of Mel Atkins

Melony Atkins

Manager of Strategic and Corporate Planning, Tauranga City Council
Previously National Director of Christian Surfers
Photo of Ross Georgiou

Ross Georgiou, BD, GradDip

Chair, Major Sports Event Chaplaincy Commission
UEFA and NZ Football licensed coach
Photo of Grant Harris

Grant Harris, BTheol

Senior Pastor, Windsor Park Baptist Church
Chaplain, NZ Breakers
Photo of Andrew Kerr

Andrew Kerr, AFA

Managing Partner and Director, Seneca Group Ltd
Convener, Christian Sports Network NZ
Formerly a NZ Surf Life Saving champion!
Photo of Phil Pawley

Phil Pawley

CEO, Sports Chaplaincy New Zealand
Photo of Kevin Prewett

Kevin Prewett, BCom, CPANZ, ATAINZ

Director, Eden Perich Prewett Ltd
Photo of Murray Thatcher

Murray Thatcher

Entrepreneur, mentor, philanthropist

National Office staff

Photo of Phil Pawley

Phil Pawley

Phil has been in ministry since 1980, with Youth With a Mission, The Church of England, and Morrinsville Baptist Church. During 20 years living in England he was Sports Chaplain for the St Helen’s and England rugby league teams and at the Manchester Commonwealth Games. In his younger days Phil played hockey. He has also completed the London marathon and climbed Mt Kilimanjaro. Phil and his wife Diane have four adult children as well as a growing number of grandchildren.

Read an interview with Phil Pawley.

Photo of Rebecca Hawkins

Rebecca Hawkins

Rebecca edits our blog and e-newsletter, as well as looking after our website and social media. She also helps train Sports Chaplains. At other times, Rebecca supports her four children in their sport. Back in her youth, she played cricket and football, with great enthusiasm but little skill.

Photo of Matt Hawkins

Matt Hawkins

Before joining us, Matt worked in HR. Since then he has overhauled our training, and has helped train many Sports Chaplains. Matt has been married to Rebecca since 1994. Together they have four children who love sport! Matt has played cricket, football, rugby as well as waterpolo.

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 If you still have questions about Sports Chaplaincy NZ, then please contact us.