Women are being encouraged to get involved in sport and be "proactive" by Anne-Marie Parsons, Chair of University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand (UTSNZ). Parsons took up the role in 2022. She says it is a privilege to support young people in their academic and sporting careers.

Anne-Marie Parsons has replaced Nicola Clayden as Chair of University and UTSNZ. Parsons was Associate Director of Campus Life at the University of Auckland. She replaces Clayden, who stepped down after seven years.

She joined the University of Auckland in 2017. Prior to that, she spent more than 12 years at the University of South Australia. She lives there and is the Associate Director of Campus Life (Student Engagement and Wellbeing) at the University of Auckland. She also chairs the board of University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand.

"University sport is a very positive and enthusiastic environment. It's wonderful to see students having fun, making friends, enjoying physical activity and taking part in healthy competition," said Parsons in an interview with FISU, highlighting the positive aspects of taking part in sport as a university student.

From the impact of exercise on physical and mental wellbeing, to being part of a team and building community, the Chair for University and Tertiary Sport in New Zealand emphasises the excitement of contributing to an important cause.

FISU Oceania highlights the importance of women in university sport. FISU
FISU Oceania highlights the importance of women in university sport. FISU

"Helping to create an environment where students can grow and develop, make new connections and build communities, and learn new skills that will help our future society thrive is an absolute privilege and gives me constant motivation to do the best I can in my role and with my teams to make the university the best possible place for students."

Her extensive experience makes her well qualified to assess the state of university sport. The initiatives, projects and people involved are all important and they all serve a purpose. That is why Parsons gived advice to the women who can support future generations. 

She said: "My advice to women in any industry is to be proactive and inventive. Don't wait for opportunities to come to you, see what you can do to create opportunities for yourself. If you have an idea about how to make things better, share it. If you see an opportunity for new development, suggest it. If there's a role that would be perfect for you, take it or create it. Take the initiative!