March 2022,

HPSNZ update March 2022

From the Chief Executive

Kia ora tatou,

I hope you are well as we continue to work through challenging times, affecting all aspects of our operations.

Amidst these difficulties, the resilience of our athletes, coaches and support teams shines through, with history-making performances at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. Congratulations to snow sports athletes Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and Nico Porteous on being New Zealand’s first Winter Olympic Games gold medalists and to Zoi for becoming the first ever to secure two medals.

What better way for us to kick off 2022 than with inspirational, record-breaking performances on the world stage from these two young athletes and the whole team, at the forefront in sports where progression is unfolding at phenomenal pace.  So many people have contributed and played a role in the Beijing 2022 podium successes and my congratulations are extended to all of you.

Mā te whiri tahi ka whakatuki ai ngā pumanawa ā tangata – Together weaving the realisation of potential

Congratulations also go to all the 2022 Halberg Award Winners led by Supreme Award winner and HPSNZ Sportswoman of the Year Dame Lisa Carrington. The list of finalists this year was arguably the strongest ever and you are all an inspiration to Kiwis throughout the country.

With the start of the 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympic Games this week, the show isn’t over yet. For a taste of what’s to come, check out the videos in the links below which provide a glimpse into the innovative initiatives that give our para-athletes an edge in Beijing. Best of luck to the athletes, and teams behind them.

Finally, thanks to all those who have been in touch following yesterday’s announcement on the governance and structural review of Sport New Zealand and HPSNZ. I look forward to working with you all in my ongoing role as Group CEO of Sport New Zealand and HPSNZ. You can catch up with the details and recommendations of the review here.

Ngā mihi

Regional connection gains traction 

A growing team of Performance Pathways Regional Leads working in communities across the country is helping a key element of HPSNZ’s 2024 strategy gain traction.

By elevating Performance Pathways as our central strategic pillar HPSNZ aims to enhance New Zealand’s competitive advantage by enabling sport-led pathways for athletes and coaches that are clear, consistent and connected across all key phases; development, performance and transition.

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Video – Corey Peters and his ‘Ferrari of Sit Skis’ 

“To be given the opportunity to be able to ski in the Ferrari of sit skis is a huge confidence boost,” says Corey Peters, double  Paralympic WInter Games medallist in alpine skiing. “I’m hugely looking forward to finally getting to Beijing and putting this sit ski into action.”

HPSNZ’s Cameron Ross is a key member of the team involved in developing what Corey describes as the ‘Ferrari of sit skis.’ Watch this great little clip to hear him explain what’s gone into enhancing this a piece of kit to achieve a 10% decrease in drag.

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Beach Volleyball shifts gear thanks to Aspirational Fund

Over the past couple of decades beach volleyball athletes from New Zealand have done remarkably well on the international stage; doing it ‘all by themselves’ they were frequently the only team at major events without a coach or support.

The good news is that’s changing as Beach Volleyball goes into a building phase focused on achieving pinnacle event success, aided by a funding and support partnership with HPSNZ.

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Video – Adam Hall: VR has been ‘absolutely amazing’

Alpine skier Adam Hall has just one chance to inspect the run he’ll be facing from the start gate in Beijing – but HPSNZ’s innovation team together with HITLabNZ have helped him experience the hill before he even gets there.

“We’ve been able to think outside the box and really dial in with some VR work which has been absolutely amazing. It has given me a huge amount of understanding and self-belief with knowing the hill, the conditions, and what essentially we’re going to have in front of us.” – Adam Hall, double Winter Paralympic Games gold medallist.

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Emerging coaches on upward trajectory

Fred Anderson (pictured) and Holly Sullivan – they’re two names you can expect to hear increasingly in the world of high performance coaching.

From Cricket and Boxing respectively, both are a showcase of HPSNZ’s 2024 coaching initiatives doing what they’re designed to do; work in partnership with sports to identify and support emerging coaches to progress through the HP Coaching Pathway.

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