6 September 2013
CJ Bruton impresses fans with message of courage
Inspirational messages behind the SKYCITY Breakers success was lapped up by hundreds of basketball fans, students,
sports and business people in Lower Hutt last week.
Ignite Sport hosted SKYCITY Breakers owners Paul and Liz Blackwell and champion player CJ Bruton at two Inspire 2013
functions attended by more than 400 people.
Key point guard CJ Bruton impressed upon the many young people to ‘watch each other’s back both on and off the court’.
He said they also needed to have the courage to ‘stand up to each other and call someone out’ if they weren’t meeting
expected standards. Team is everything and this was reflected in the fact there is no team captain – that the team makes
Paul Blackwell impressed upon the audiences three points leading to success: common sense, communication and hard work.
“It’s all very well having the latest gadgets but if young people can shake someone’s hand, look them in the eye and
communicate, they’ll go far,” he told the audience at Monday 26 August’s ‘The SKYCITY Breaker’s Story’. Telling the
truth and the whole truth as opposed to some of the truth was also a key message.
The Blackwells shared their story of the development of the SKYCITY Breakers Club since a change of ownership eight
years ago to the three-peat Australian National Basketball League champions they are today. One of the keys to their
journey is the overriding purpose why they became involved, to help make a difference in some way. The couple do this by
encouraging families and communities to be involved in the game of basketball.
Everything in the club reflects this now – the values, the community programmes and the youth development pathways which
make up the SKYCITY Breakers brand.
Having the ‘right people in the right seats’ and establishing a clear set of values that were non-negotiable were
lessons in leadership which Paul Blackwell communicated at the second, breakfast function ‘The Secrets to Success’ on 27
Inspire is an annual event hosted by Ignite Sport aimed to positively influence New Zealand’s sports culture. The
charity organisation delivers youth development programmes, using sport to connect and engage, in several schools in the
Wellington Region. A current group of Year 13 Porirua College and Ignite Sport students were honoured and received
graduation certificates at the Inspire functions last week, following four years of Ignite Sport programmes.
“This group of young men have made huge leaps in realising their potential both in sport and in education, given school
for them hasn’t always been easy. They’re now all completing their final year at school; many hold senior leadership
roles at Porirua College and in the community. We are very proud of their achievements both now and what they will do as
future leaders,” said Kevin Goldsbury, Ignite Sport Coordinator.