From the Chief Executive
Kia ora tatou
The past couple of weeks have been challenging in many ways due to the release of the Cycling Inquiry Report. The report findings, shared publicly and in totality, have prompted much media coverage and sector debate about the state of high performance sport in our country.
Our first priority in sharing the report was to acknowledge those who contributed to its creation, those who remain affected by the trauma of past events, and those who have voiced hope for the future. All of these perspectives, surfaced by the review panel, have helped us understand past failings in order to improve into the future.
We accept the findings of the report and the core and implicit truth that wellbeing must sit at the heart of all we do. Positive change is already happening, building from our 2024 Strategy, and our commitment is to work with all partners across the system to accelerate actions and initiatives that address identified gaps.
In line with this, we continue to work with our NSO partners to make strides forward for women in high performance sport. Last week we announced the appointment of Mystics Head Coach Helene Wilson to lead our Women in High Performance Sport programme.
We have also recently welcomed Tall Ferns Assistant Coach Jody Cameron to the HPSNZ fold to lead the Te Hāpaitanga programme, supporting the development of women coaches in high performance sport. We feature some thoughts from her in this newsletter.
The newsletter also enables us to showcase the outstanding work NSOs are doing. This month we shine the spotlight on what Rowing New Zealand Is doing to support athlete wellbeing. These are just a few examples of what we are doing together to support athletes and all those in the system.
The Cycling Inquiry Report is confronting, but we are determined to ensure it leads to positive outcomes for all athletes and participants in the system, so that they may thrive.
He rā ki tua – Better times are coming.
Supporting Athlete Wellbeing – A Rowing NZ Example
Rowing New Zealand Athlete Wellbeing Lead Tina Ryan is charged with championing and delivering holistic athlete wellbeing through all stages of the sport’s high performance pathway.
She has had a sharp focus on four key areas during her first year in the role – helping athletes transition in, through and out of the programme, enhancing athlete voice mechanisms within Rowing NZ’s programme, accommodating individual needs (including a return to training after Tokyo) and enhancing the performance environment athletes are working in.
Women in High Performance Sport Residency Programme was “massive”
Two women, one word. Massive.
Two of the participants from HPSNZ’s Women in High Performance Sport Residency Programme have shared their reflections on the initiative which aimed to establish a cohort of talented, highly capable, future female leaders and high performance coaches through fixed term employment opportunities within NSOs.
Natalie Lawrence (pictured), Future Ferns Domestic Programme Assistant Manager and Phoenix Assistant Coach, and Tanya Hamilton, High Performance Manager, Surf Lifesaving, both recently completed the Residency programme and were unanimous in their gratitude and praise for the opportunity and upskilling it provided.
Increased Base Training Grant for TAPS athletes
Following feedback from athletes and others in the system, HPSNZ has increased the level of Base Training Grants for eligible athletes and adjusted Excellence Grant levels for some athletes.
From 1 January this year the way HPSNZ provides financial support to athletes changed when we moved from the Carded Athlete and Performance Enhancement Grants (PEGs) system to a new system of Tailored Athlete Pathway Support (TAPS). HPSNZ General Manager Performance Partnerships Eddie Kohlhase says TAPS is designed to support athlete wellbeing by providing athletes with support that is appropriate to their age and stage within the high performance pathway.
A chat with Jody Cameron – new Te Hāpaitanga lead
Jody Cameron has joined the HPSNZ Coaching team to lead the Te Hāpaitanga programme for emerging and high potential female coaches. Jody’s background as a successful basketball coach has provided her with an important lens she can apply now she is “on the other side”.
We sat down with Jody at the end of week one on the job leading the programme. We took the opportunity to ask her three questions – what was week one like, what are you most looking forward to and what will success look like for you?
Squash purple patch set to continue thanks to the Aspirational Fund
Squash has always punched above its weight, and it is looking to continue its Commonwealth Games medal winning ways in Birmingham and again in Victoria in 2026, helped by a funding and support partnership with HPSNZ.
Investment in the sport has and will continue to allow Squash NZ to support its top ranked players, world number one Paul Coll and world number five Joelle King, and equally importantly its crop of emerging players.