Villa Education Trust supports Sissons


Villa Education Trust recognise the time, effort, courage, determination and massive financial outgoings for a young person to reach the top level of their field. Having great role-models and through that developing aspiration in our children is so very important.


Born in Zimbabwe in 1988 Ryan Sissons and family came to New Zealand in 2000. One opportunity Ryan took in his schooling was to develop as an athlete – while not neglecting his study (he has a Bachelor of Education).


His first Olympic dream was to make the New Zealand team for the 2012 London Olympics. He did so and finished 33rd as a 24 year old. In 2016 Ryan raced again at the Olympics, this time in Rio, and improved to a fabulous 17th place. His major aim over the next 14 months is to qualify for Tokyo and climb more places up the ladder.


Ryan has now been competing for New Zealand at its highest level on the world circuit for 10 years. (  As well as two Olympic Games, he has been to two Commonwealth Games and has a bronze medal from the most recent 2018 Commonwealth Games.


He states: “Over the next 14 months my aim is to qualify for my third Olympic Games team in Tokyo 2020. However the journey I am taking to qualify this time around has been somewhat different. At the end of 2015 my coach, Laurent Vidal, died of a heart attack, which made the 2016 Rio Olympics build up quite a challenge but also very special. In 2017 I finished as the World number 10, my beast season to date. Then unfortunately I was injured for the most part of 2018, had some personal struggles and a lot of self-doubt about ever being able to compete with the World’s best again.”


“However now in 2019 I am finally back to enjoying the sport and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to be standing on the start line in Tokyo 2020 in my utmost best shape physically and mentally.”


"The support from the Villa Education Trust will enable me to focus solely on training and preparation to qualify and hopefully compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Not only is the significant financial support extremely helpfully in getting me to and from races around the world, the support from the Trust, the students and their families is as much an important part of this partnership. I will be sharing my story with kids who will hopefully some day aspire to go to the Olympic Games, or to achieve their individual dreams. I have always had an interest in inspiring the next generation and it is extremely motivating to have the chance to help share my journey with this great organisation and the people involved."


The Villa Education Trust ( and Innovative Education Consultants - through their Baylight Project ( - are delighted to partner with Ryan. Spokesperson for the Trust, Alwyn Poole states that; “what Ryan has achieved so far, his worth ethic and resilience and level of aspiration is a perfect fit for our organisation and the young people we serve. We are very proud he will be carrying our logo. It is also a nice fit with own main Middle School West Auckland building being known as Jack Ralston House after the great New Zealand athletics and triathlon coach. To be honest though, Jack was more likely to yell at Ryan, not for him, as he had a habit of beating Jack’s athletes”.