23 September 2016
Shift founder off to global sports mentoring programme
Fran McEwen, the founder of Wellington’s Shift project for young women, has been selected to attend a global sports
mentoring programme in the United States in October.
The programme, organised by the US State Department and ESPN, the sports television network, is a one-month mentorship
focused on empowering female leaders to serve their local community by increasing access to and opportunities for
participation in sport.
The programme receives applications from more than 100 countries around the globe each year. Fran, Wellington City
Council’s Health and Wellbeing Partnership Leader, has been selected alongside Melodie Robinson, Sky sports presenter
and ex-Black Fern, as one of 16 in the world to attend.
Fran founded the initiative called ‘Shift: Shift your body, Shift your mind’ in late 2015. Shift is led by Wellington
City Council in partnership with The Boys and Girls Institute (BGI) and a number of other organisations that are
passionate about seeing young women flourish. Shift is funded by Sport Wellington, Lottery Community Grants and the
Ministry of Social Development.
Fran is excited to be given the opportunity to get to the US. She says: “I’m really passionate about using sport,
physical activity and our beautiful green spaces as vehicles to promote community wellbeing. I love working alongside
young women and seeing Shift grow from being a small idea a few years ago to a fully-formed initiative now, is
“The number of women engaging with Shift is just amazing. We call it the Shifterhood,” Fran says.
Sport Wellington invested in the Shift initiative to ensure more young females have the opportunity to participate in
sport and physical activity. “We are thrilled that Fran has been given this opportunity. We have no doubt that Fran will
come back with lots of ideas to further enhance and grow Shift,” says Tracey Diack, General Manager of Sport Wellington.
Fran will be mentored by Laura Dixon, executive director of corporate responsibility for Spurs Sports & Entertainment. Laura has been leading the Spurs organisation’s work in the San Antonio community for the past seven
Laura shares Fran’s passion for the health and wellbeing of her community, and will complement her drive with successful
strategies for engaging public and private entities to back her programs. With the assistance of Laura and her dynamic
team, Fran will not only be able to grow the reach of her programme, but also its measurable impact in empowering girls
in Wellington and other parts of New Zealand.