March 2024,

HPSNZ Update March 2024

From the Chief Executive

Kia ora tātou,

When George ‘Geordie’ Beamish crossed the line to win the World Indoor 1500m title in Glasgow earlier this month (pictured above) it was a reminder of high performance sport’s ability to surprise and delight.

Beamish’s own surprise and delight is written large across his face. It was reflected in the response of Kiwi sports fans, revelling in a performance which capped off New Zealand’s most successful World Indoor Athletic Championships, with Hamish Kerr becoming a high jump world champion and silver medals for Tom Walsh and Eliza McCartney.

We know from our research the value these performances deliver to the country. The success of New Zealand athletes internationally helps instil a sense of pride, helps give New Zealanders a sense of belonging, brings communities together and contributes to our national identity, as well as providing positive international exposure for Brand New Zealand.

Having spent time with Minister for Sport and Recreation Chris Bishop, there is no doubt that the new Government continues to recognise the importance of Kiwi athletes succeeding on the world stage and the value that delivers to New Zealand Inc.

We have recently been consulting with our NSO partners, peak bodies and athlete representative groups on some proposed simplifications of the high performance pathway and our investment framework, as well as proposed changes to Tailored Athlete Pathway Support (TAPS) for the next cycle to 2028.

Thank you to all those who have been part of that process, your voices and input are critical as we move forward in partnership.

This work continues alongside our preparations for the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Looking forward to Paris, this HPSNZ update highlights the Cycling’s Women’s Team Pursuit programme and the work they are doing with Performance Psychologist Rod Corban in their quest for Olympic success. We also look back 20 years with HPSNZ Te Hāpaitanga lead and Tall Ferns Assistant Coach Jody Cameron who reflects on her Olympic experience as a player in Athens 2004.

Enjoy the read; have a great week.

Ngā mihi

Olympic and Paralympic Perspectives: Jody Cameron

Jody Cameron, Te Hāpaitanga lead, credit: Alan Lee
Jody Cameron. InterAktive Live conference at Go Media Stadium Mt Smart, Auckland, New Zealand on Wednesday 13 September 2023. Mandatory credit: Alan Lee /

Our fifth featured HPSNZ Olympian or Paralympian is Tall Fern Jody Cameron who took to the basketball courts at Athens 2004.

From arguably one of basketball’s most famous families, Jody was also a silver medallist at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games and is currently the assistant coach of the Tall Ferns.

On the work front, Jody brings her experience as an athlete and coach to her role as lead of the Te Hāpaitanga coaching programme in HPSNZ’s Performance Partnerships team.

Twenty years on from Athens, Jody’s excitement about her Olympic experience is contagious.

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Team psychologist helps cyclists target Paris podium

NZ’s silver medal women’s pursuit team at the 2023 World Champs
Picture by Will Palmer/ – 05/08/2023 – Track & Para Track Cycling – 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships – Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow, Scotland – Women Elite Team Pursuit final for Gold – Michaela Drummond, Ally Wollaston, Emily Shearman, Bryony Botha of New Zealand

Following their silver medal performance at the 2023 Cycling World Championships, the Kiwi women’s team pursuit riders have plenty of confidence as they head into the business end of the build up to Paris.

With a gold medal performance last week at the Nation’s Cup in Hong Kong, team members either head to Europe to rejoin their road team or continue their build up at the Cambridge Velodrome.  Either way, the importance of balancing team with individual needs is a high priority for the women and for their HPSNZ Performance Psychologist, Rod Corban.

We spoke with two team riders, Bryony Botha and Ally Wollaston, and with Rod who is heading to his fourth Olympics as a member of the NZOC team.

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Kia Manawanui cross sport learnings helping Judo

Jason Koster at the Kia Manawanui hosting
Kia Manawanui Coaching Programme, with Judo Coach Jason Koster, Christchurch, New Zealand. 21st February 2024. © Copyright photo: John Davidson /

Judo was one of the featured sports at the first Kia Manawanui hosting for 2024.

Along with rugby coach, Whitney Hansen, Judo national coach Jason Koster delivered hosting sessions which reflected the differences between sports and, more importantly, the cross sport learnings for the participating coaches which have become a feature of Kia Manawanui.

Jason, who had flown into Christchurch from international competitions and training in Europe and Africa the morning of his hosting, conducted a coaching session which he says is unique in the sports sector.

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Two new sports feature in Te Hāpaitanga’s fourth intake

Te Hāpaitanga cohort 3
Te Hāpaitanga cohort 3

A high calibre of mature, experienced women coaches, a number of whom have had international coaching experience, have been selected to join the fourth Te Hāpaitanga cohort.

Announcing the 10 participants, programme lead Jody Cameron says a feature of the group is the first-time inclusion of coaches from rugby league and volleyball, who join coaches from four other team sports and four individual sports.

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International Women in Sport Congress creates HP connections

Helene Wilson receives an award at the Women in Sport Congress
Helene Wilson receives an award at the Women in Sport Congress

HPSNZ representation at the annual Women in Sport Congress reflected the significance of a multi-disciplinary approach to female health and performance for female athletes and coaches.

A team of seven HPSNZ women — Women in High Performance Sport lead Helene Wilson, Healthy Women in Performance Sport lead Dr Sue Robson, Athlete Performance Support lead Dr Helen Fulcher, Head of Performance Pathways Tracey Paterson, Performance Pathways System Lead Jenna Knight, Performance Health Nurse Jane Probert, and Performance Physiotherapist Jennifer Scott — attended the three day conference hosted by the Australian Institute of Sport.

The HPSNZers were joined by more than 20 other women from New Zealand NSOs and tertiary institutions, along with colleagues from around the globe.

The conference brought together academics and high performance specialists which helped encourage the understanding of each other’s women in sport worlds and provided diverse information and unique perspectives, all in the same room, says Helene.

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Volleyball NZ benefits from WHPS Residency Experience

Two women sitting on the floor having a discussion
Kim Smith (left)

Key features of HPSNZ’s Women in High Performance Sport Residency Experience are flexibility and innovation which, says programme lead Helene Wilson, are essential to ensure highly competent people are able to be connected to high performance, no matter what stage of life they are at.

“Match this core principle to a sport that believes it will grow when there is diversity of thinking around the decision-making table and you have a recipe for accelerated success,” says Helene.

We talked with Volleyball NZ’s High Performance Manager, Colleen Campbell, and Residency Experience participant Kim Smith about how they are thinking about coach diversity through the opportunities being provided by the Residency Experience initiative.

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Triathletes at home in HPSNZ Bay of Plenty performance pod

Person doing weightlifting
High Performance Sport New Zealand HPSNZ – Photo shoot at Millennium Institute, Auckland, New Zealand. 06 November 2020 Photo: Brett Phibbs /

New Zealand’s up and coming triathletes are benefitting from being able to train at the recently established HPSNZ Performance Pathway pod in Mount Maunganui.

With Triathlon NZ coach, Craig Kirkwood, and Athlete Development Manager Chris Willetts, based in Tauranga, along with the other HPSNZ supported sports of Rugby Sevens, Beach Volleyball and Speed Climbing in Mount Maunganui, it was the logical location for a performance pod supported by the Cambridge-based Waikato hub, says Head of Performance Pathways, Tracey Paterson.

“We have developed a partnership with the Adams Centre in Mount Maunganui which means NSO identified performance athletes can access the gym, pool, strength and conditioning, and other performance support resources without needing to leave town,” says Tracey.

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