Coaches step up to accelerate development

High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) has today announced the five coaches who are joining a programme aimed at increasing New Zealand's pool of world-class coaches.

Jump to video: Insight into Coach Accelerator Programme

HPSNZ is working with national sport organisations to accelerate the development of coaches, so that they are capable of producing World, Olympic and Paralympic Champions.

HPSNZ Chief Executive Alex Baumann says coaching is his number one priority, because of the essential role coaches' play.

"When you have the best coaches in the world leading programmes which are focused on the athletes, then you have the critical ingredients for success," Baumann says.

The five coaches who make up the fourth intake to the Coach Accelerator programme are:

  • Gary Hurring (Swimming New Zealand), who coaches Commonwealth Games medallist Gareth Kean. Hurring is a former Commonwealth Games gold medallist (1978) and silver medallist at the 1978 World Aquatic Championships.
  • Scott McLeod (New Zealand Rugby Union), who has been an assistant coach with the New Zealand U20 team and an assistant coach with the Waikato ITM Cup team. McLeod, a former All Black, has also worked with the Chiefs and is currently an assistant coach with the Highlanders Super Rugby team.
  • Ian Wright (Rowing New Zealand), who is Head Coach at the Waikato Regional Performance Centre. A 1986 Commonwealth Games silver (coxless pair) and bronze (rowing eight) medallist, Wright was also in the coxed four which won a bronze medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. He coached the New Zealand women's eight to silver at both the 2010 and 2011 World Rowing U23 Championships, and in 2013 coached the New Zealand men's eight to a gold medal at the World Rowing U23 Championships.
  • James Coote (Rowing NZ), who is coach at the Auckland Regional Performance Centre. In 2011, he coached the New Zealand U23 women's quad to fourth at the World Rowing U23 Championships. He is coaching the women's four and the women's quadruple scull, which will compete at the World Rowing U23 Championships in July.
  • Ross Machejefski (BikeNZ), who is junior track coach and also assistant coach of the women's track team. He coached the New Zealand junior squad to the Junior World Championships in 2011, where they won 10 medals.

Coach Accelerator is a three-year professional development programme aimed at increasing New Zealand's pool of world-class coaches. During the three years, the coaches receive individualised professional development programmes, which include access to coaching mentors, high performance athletes and support personnel, as well as experts from various high performance environments.

The Coach Accelerator initiative began in 2009 and the first intake recently graduated. You can hear about their experiences on the programme on www.hpsnz.org.nz.

Ends

For an interview with Alex Baumann, please contact Sue Eden, Senior Advisor Media and Communications HPSNZ, on 09 477 5420 ext. 223 or 021 490 797.

Background and video

The Coach Accelerator Programme began in 2009 with an initial group of six coaches, and there have been intakes every year since then.

The coaches who formed the first intake to the Coach Accelerator Programme and recently graduated are: Dayle Cheatley (bike), Mike Hesson (cricket), Steve Hansen (rugby), Dave Thompson (rowing), Tom Willmott (winter sports), and Yvette McCausland Durie (netball).

The coaches who started the programme in 2010 are: Scott Talbot (swimming), Tim Brazier (triathlon), Mark Stallard (rowing), Grant Bradburn (cricket), Gary Stead (cricket) and Justin Grace (bike).

The coaches who made up the 2011 intake are: Gary Hay (rowing), Janine Southby (netball), Erik Duvander (equestrian), Darren Smith (hockey), and Gordon Walker (flatwater canoe).

Coaches in the 2012 intake: Ian Wright (rowing), James Coote (rowing), Scott McLeod (rugby), Gary Hurring (swimming), Ross Machejefski (bike).

Coaches in the 2013 intake: Tabai Matson (rugby), Tony Readings (football), Ryan Hollows (bike, BMX), Joe Hunter (athletics), Mark Howard (yachting), Noeline Taurua (netball).

Coaches in the 2014 intake: Steve Willis (Athletics), Peter Legnavsky (Snow Sports), Penny Castle (Equestrian), Nathan Handley (Yachting), Mike Rodger (Rowing),
Jeremy McColl (Athletics), and Chris Boyd (Rugby).