June 2023,

HPSNZ Update June 2023

From the Chief Executive

Kia ora tatou,

Over the past three years, we’ve focused heavily on how we can work with our NSO partners to create and maintain environments that support wellbeing, understanding its critical importance in enabling and enhancing performance.

With the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games just over a year away, the pressure is building on coaches, athletes and support staff, as they attempt to qualify. The range of emotions experienced over the next 12-15 months will be immense and will test them equally as much as anything physical they experience in competition.

Our GM of Athlete Performance Support, Fiona Mather reflects, in this HPSNZ Update, on the importance of environments – sporting and non-sporting – for athletes and outlines our approach to extending HPSNZ’s Mental Health Strategy and enhancing the support for athletes over the coming months.

One of the most important aspects of wellbeing for high performance athletes is financial security. Massey University Research revealed that the cost of everyday items was the number one cause of stress in 2022 – up from 53rd place in 2015. With that in mind we have recently announced an increase in Tailored Athlete Pathway Support (TAPS) for eligible athletes.

Another critical element in athlete wellbeing is their relationship with their coaches. The wellbeing strand runs through all our coaching programmes and this HPSNZ Update puts the spotlight on two of them. Read about the bespoke approach to supporting the NZ Equestrian Team Coach Sam Griffith through Coach Accelerator Te Tūāpapa, as he prepares his riders for a tilt at the podium in Paris. And see how coaches from sports as diverse as Equestrian and Squash are learning from each other in the Kia Manawanui programme.

In this edition we also celebrate the sport of Surfing and its two athletes who recently qualified for Paris 2024 – or rather Tahiti 2024! Congratulations to them.

Kia kaha to the rest of our Kiwi athletes on their qualification journey!

Ngā mihi

HPSNZ increases financial support for athletes

Adam Hall skiing on the slopes

HPSNZ has increased its Tailored Athlete Pathway Support (TAPS) investment for athletes on Base Training Grants and Development Training Grants.

TAPS investment is designed to support athlete wellbeing by providing eligible athletes with greater financial security through either a Base Training Grant or Development Training Grant. Some athletes are also eligible for a financial top up from a performance-based Excellence Grant. TAPS athletes also receive fully funded medical insurance, access to Prime Ministers Scholarships and access to a wide range of specialist services from our Athlete Performance Support team.

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Creating healthy environments key to sustainable success

Hamish Kerr training in high jump
New Zealand High jumper Hamish Kerr training at Christchurch Boys High School, Christchurch, New Zealand on Tuesday 18 April 2023. Mandatory credit: www.photosport.nz

As New Zealand’s Olympic hopefuls head into the critical pre-Games phase of training and competing to qualify for Paris, attention is turning to their emotional health within HPSNZ’s wellbeing framework.

HPSNZ GM Athlete Performance Support, Fiona Mather, says the impact of environments, of relationships, of how people see themselves and how others see them can impact thoughts, emotions and mental wellbeing.  And these play out in behaviours, beliefs and attitudes.

“The athletes’ individual performance can be helped or hindered by the nature of the surrounding environments.

“Layer onto that the expectations of a nation as athletes prepare to qualify for the greatest show on earth.”

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Olympic equestrians get coaching boost on road to Paris 2024

Tim Price with ESNZ HP Coach, Sam Griffiths, after his ride on Ringwood Sky Boy during the second day of Dressage
NZL-Tim Price with ESNZ HP Coach, Sam Griffiths, after his ride on Ringwood Sky Boy during the second day of Dressage. 2022 Badminton Horse Trials – Presented by Mars Equestrian. Badminton, Gloucestershire, Great Britain. Friday 6 May 2022. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

New Zealand’s four-strong equestrian team has continued its strong build up to Paris 2024 with their recent first placing overall at the 2023 Mill Street International Horse Trial in Ireland.

Leading the coaching support for the equestrian team is UK-based Sam Griffiths who is himself getting support through HPSNZ’s Coach Accelerator Te Tūāpapa programme.

As part of Te Tūāpapa’s bespoke pinnacle event campaign support, programme lead Christian Penny has been working with Sam and has headed to the UK to assist him with campaign planning ahead of the all-important five-star horse trial in Aachen, Germany, a critical event on the road to Paris.

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The complex art of simplifying coaching

Group of people in a squash court and at an equestrian dressage

From the complexity of the horse and rider relationship to the challenges of a squash court’s confines, participants in the second Kia Manawanui workshop were challenged to simplify the most critical performance factors.

Teaching coaches how to simplify was the key focus of the three-day campaign performance planning workshop with event hosts, equestrian national coach Helaan Tompkins and squash high performance coach Glen Wilson, using insights from their sports to deliver cross-sport learnings for the wider group of participants.

The campaign performance planning theme was reinforced by guest speaker, All Blacks coach Ian Foster, who shared insights into the team’s preparations for this year’s Rugby World Cup and by HPSNZ’s Craig Palmer, formerly Cycling NZ endurance coach, who drew a link with cycling’s team and individual successes in Tokyo and Ian’s messaging.

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Qualifying to take on the most dangerous wave in the world

Group of two men and two women accepting a surfing award

Surfing NZ is abuzz with the news two of its elite surfers, Billy Stairmand and Saffi Vette, have qualified themselves for Paris 2024 following their recent performances at a qualifying event in El Salvador.

Subject to being nominated and accepted for the New Zealand Olympic team, Billy and Saffi will take on what is without doubt the most daunting and unique wave in the world – Tahiti’s notorious Teahupo’o, the only 2024 Olympic Games venue outside of France.

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Women sports leaders join Women in Leadership Summit

Group standing looking to the camera

Fifteen women from across the Women in High Performance Sport (WHPS) programme, NSOs and HPSNZ joined their peers from a diverse range of industries and sectors at the recent 9th Annual Women in Leadership Summit.

The event, run by the Women in Leadership Institute, provided the opportunity to bring emerging and established female leaders across Aotearoa together, showcasing their journeys as they pave the way and make their world in the corporate sector.

HPSNZ WHPS lead, Helene Wilson, says the purpose of the event was two-fold:  Breaking down Barriers and Building Legacies.

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Have your Say on the Code of Integrity for Sport and Recreation

The Integrity Transition Programme (ITP) is working to establish the Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission – an independent Crown entity intended to enhance integrity within sport and physical recreation.

As part of this work, the ITP has been tasked with creating a set of common integrity standards – a Code of Integrity for Sport and Recreation, which will form the cornerstone of the sector’s integrity system.

The Code is intended to provide clear standards for organisations and individuals in the sport and recreation sector; protect and promote the safety and well-being of participants; and ensure the fairness of competition.

To help ensure the Code reflects the sector, the ITP has developed a survey to capture the views of the sport and recreation community.

It is important that as many people as possible share their views by completing this survey – and the ITP is asking for your help achieve that.

The survey will be live from Thursday, June 29. It can be accessed via the ITP website – www.integritytransition.org.nz

Your view is important – so please complete the survey to have your say!