Holly Payne to lead development of WaiBOP’s women’s and girl’s strategy

Holly Payne will rejoin WaiBOP Football to help develop a women’s and girl’s strategy for the Waikato and Bay of Plenty region.

Payne takes on her new role in early 2024, having previously been WaiBOP’s Women’s Development Officer and then spending almost five years in Auckland as NZ Football’s Women’s Development Manager.

Main photo: Holly Payne … new role at WaiBOP Football. Photo: Dave MacKay / Phototek.

Of her role and return to WaiBOP Football, Payne told the federation’s website:

“It’s great to be coming back into football after spending a few years away. I now have two young boys with my husband, Josh, which has further helped me grow and develop as a person and bring a different perspective to how I approach things.

“I’m excited that WaiBOP Football has identified women and girls’ football as a strategic priority and growth area.

“Developing a Women and Girls’ Strategy is timely, with the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup shining a light on women and girls’ football in our region, as well as the refresh of the Whole of Football Plan coming out soon.”

WaiBOP Football says Payne’s work will provide opportunities for the football community to engage with her, sharing ideas and give feedback through roadshows, forums and workshops.

“The aim of the strategy is to bring everyone together to provide a plan with an aligned direction for all football in the women and girls’ space,” the federation says.

A former national age group player, Payne played for Claudelands Rovers.

In her previous role with WaiBOP, she pioneered the first girls-only leagues in the region.

At NZ Football, she launched the group-breaking Female Coach Scholarship Programme, and played a pivotal role in the bid to co-host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

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