From the Chief Executive
Kia ora tatou,
I trust you’re all well and looking forward to the Commonwealth Games which are now just around the corner.
The Opening Ceremony is just two days away, so the focus of this HSPNZ update is fittingly on Birmingham 2022. We’re proud to have 26 of our HPSNZ specialist practitioners attending the Games, including doctors, physios, psychologists, physiologists and nutritionists as part of the New Zealand Team’s support staff. It will be a privilege to be on the sidelines in Birmingham myself, cheering them on as well as our Kiwi athletes.
Check out our video clips in this newsletter, which highlight three unique aspects of the Commonwealth Games through a non-Olympic sport (Squash), emerging discipline (3×3 Basketball) and the Games’ para programme (Swimming), and what HPSNZ is doing to support these sports.
Among those looking to overcome the challenges of the past year and spearhead New Zealand’s success in Birmingham will be our Cycling athletes.
This past week we released our response to the Independent Inquiry commissioned following the death of Olivia Podmore, in the form of a 10-point action plan to address the key themes outlined in the inquiry panel’s report. You can view the action plan and the accompanying media release on our website.
Implementing the plan will be a team effort, and involve building on the work already underway to enrich performance environments and improve athlete wellbeing. One of these initiatives is a study we are doing right now to find out more about what stresses athletes face and how that impacts them, which will help inform future mental health initiatives.
Me mahi tahi tatou mot e oranga o te katoa – We must work together for the wellbeing of all.
“Inspiring” is the word for Comm Games squash team
A big push on the big stage is the focus for New Zealand’s team in Birmingham using the experience of world leading players, Joelle King and Paul Coll.
Watch the clip and hear Joelle and Paul share their Games thoughts and their hope to inspire the next generation of Kiwi squash players.
For the younger members of the team it’s also about inspiration. Brothers Temwa and Lwamba Chileshe talk about the extraordinary benefit of being in a team with Joelle and Paul leading the way.
Younger and experienced players alike are all eyeing the podium in Birmingham as New Zealand takes its biggest squash team yet to a Commonwealth Games.
Check on the team and their hopes and dreams for Birmingham 2022.
Keeping the Kiwi team healthy and safe in Birmingham
While the experiences of Tokyo and Beijing have been important in planning the health and safety protocols for New Zealand athletes in Birmingham, HPSNZ Head of Performance Health, Dr Bruce Hamilton, says the playbook for these Games is quite different.
Bruce and the health team have been working with NZOC to put in place protocols which reflect the changing COVID-19 environment and the local organising committee’s (LOC) own protocols in order to keep the New Zealand Team healthy and safe in Birmingham.
Video – Outmuscling the opposition
Using their natural strength, physicality and aggression will be the secret weapon for New Zealand’s men’s and women’s 3×3 Basketball teams in Birmingham.
Watch the clip and hear players talk about their goals for Birmingham and the honour it is to be pioneers in this new format of basketball on the world stage. Hear how they are chasing gold – for themselves, their families and for the country.
Go courtside with the team ahead of their first ever appearance at a Commonwealth Games.
Two different paths to Te Hāpaitanga, one shared highlight
Participants in the Te Hāpaitanga coaching programme came together in Auckland earlier in the month for the second residential course of five scheduled for the 18-month programme.
HPSNZ sat down with two of the participants who have taken very different paths from very different sports on their Te Hāpaitanga journey so far. We asked Holly Sullivan, founder of a mortgage advising company by day and boxing coach by night and weekend, and Fiona Bourke, Rowing NZ’s National Pathway coach, to share their highlights from the three-day residential course.
Video – Unique experience for para swimmers
The pool in Birmingham will see two firsts for para swimmer Joshua Willmer and that’s before the podium end of competition.
Watch the clip and hear Joshua share his thoughts on the unique opportunity the Commonwealth Games provides for para and able bodied swimmers to train, spend time and travel together.
Head to the pool to share Joshua’s excitement as a first timer heading to a Commonwealth Games.
Athlete wellbeing study on now
Massey University and HPSNZ are currently undertaking an online survey investigating athlete wellbeing. The survey asks athletes what they find stressful and how that may impact their mood.
The survey replicates the study undertaken by Dr Sarah Beable in 2015. To ensure robust findings, the same 14 sports (Athletics, Cycling, Canoe Slalom, Kayak, Equestrian, Hockey, Netball, Paralympics, Rowing, Rugby 7s, Sailing. Snow Sports, Swimming and Triathlon) have been invited to participate again, so that the data can be compared with data generated seven years ago.