Kiana Pohe-Bright, is a recent ex-student, 2022 Sports Leader, and the recipient of a prestigious Athletics scholarship at the University of Concordia Irvine in California. Originally hailing from Hawke’s Bay, this bubbly, strong young wahine has the world at her feet – and she is ready! In Year 11, Kiana was scouted for her performances on the track. She was smashing records and getting noticed by agencies in America. The past couple of years have been tough for Kiana, with a bad foot injury and Covid-19 hampering her training, but both are behind her now. She had a strong performance at the 2023 NZ Track and Field Championships, in Wellington with a personal best time and 4th in the 100 metres and a silver for Waikato Bay of Plenty in the 4 x100m relay.

Not only is Kiana succeeding on the Athletic track, but she’s also quite handy on the rugby field. In 2022 Kiana was selected to play for the NZ Barbarians World Schools 7’s tournament in Auckland. Rugby is currently parked for the moment as she prepares for her new life in California. Kiana trains six times a week, sometimes twice a day, and has two coaches. As well as her impressive sporting ability, Kiana achieved strong academic results in her last year of NCEA. Not only will she be running rings around the campus track, she’ll be attending lectures in biochemistry and sports psychology.

She was also the recipient of an Adastra Foundation scholarship and will receive financial support along with a strong focus on personal development, education and mentoring. Currently, she is working long hours at Pak’n’Save Clarence St ahead of her departure in August. At 18, Kiana is such a wonderful example of our School’s vision. She is igniting her passion and inspiring young women to change the world – we can’t wait to watch her as she embarks on her American journey. All the best Kiana.

“Being a young Māori wahine and having a strong sense of who I am and where I come from allows me to feel supported and connected at all times, I think I am very fortunate in this aspect of my life as my whanau keep me grounded and my values and key principles of life influence how I develop as an athlete and more importantly as a person. I hope that I inspire or hope to inspire young tamariki that being Māori is something to be proud of and we can all do anything we set our minds to.”