HPSNZ Update May 2024

From the Chief Executive

Kia ora tātou,

This week marks 100 Days to Go until the 2024 Paralympic Games with the Minister of Sport and Recreation Chris Bishop meeting Paralympian (and Sport NZ Board member) Cameron Leslie (pictured above), Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) Chair Jana Rangooni and Chief Executive Greg Warnecke in Wellington on Monday to celebrate the milestone. The countdown’s on and we’re all excited about what lies ahead in Paris.

The NZ Paralympic Team for Paris is taking shape with selection announcements well underway, on the back of some outstanding performances over the past 12-24 months. Once again Para athletics (Holly Robinson, Anna Grimaldi, Will Steadman and Mitch Joynt selected so far) and Para swimming (Cameron Leslie, Jesse Reynolds, Joshua Willmer, Lili-Fox Mason and Gabriella Smith, with more names to come), along with Para cycling, will lead the Kiwi charge for medals at the Games.

It is also wonderful to see selections for Louise Duncan, who will be the country’s first Para equestrian athlete to wear the silver fern at a Paralympic Games since London 2012, and Matthew Britz, who will become New Zealand’s first Para table tennis player at the Games for 48 years.

Congratulation also to Peter Cowan, who took out the Para waka ama silver medal at this month’s ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup and qualified a quota spot at the Paralympic Games for New Zealand.

The great news for Kiwi sports fans here at home is that TVNZ will be providing free to air Paris 2024 coverage of the Games on a level not previously seen. Keep an eye out for details. This is an unprecedented opportunity for us all to get behind these outstanding athletes.

In this HPSNZ Update we build up to the Paralympics with a perspective from Paralympian #128, Wheel Black and now Sport New Zealand Senior Disability Advisor Justin Muschamp. We talk to Para athletics stars Anna Grimaldi and Holly Robinson  about their preparations for Paris with the help of HPSNZ’s Mikey Jacobs.

HPSNZ Strength and Conditioning Practitioner Simeon Joplin talks about the Preparation and Recovery Team he will lead to support our Kiwi Paralympians in Paris.

And we’re inviting athlete registrations for Crossroads, a HPSNZ hosted two-day athlete forum in November to help athletes decide where to from here, following the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Ngā mihi

Paralympics Preparation and Recovery team readying for the big moment

Simeon Joplin and Lucy Jacobs packing the Paralympics Paris bound container

With the container of supplies and equipment packed and on the water to Paris, the Paralympics Preparation and Recovery Team is now focussing on the needs of NSOs for their athletes and coaches to ensure they receive the best experience come competition time.

The two-strong team of HPSNZers, led by Strength and Conditioning Coach, Simeon Joplin, supported by Physiologist Lucy Jacobs, will be Paralympics New Zealand’s Preparation and Recovery Team at the Games.

Paris 2024 will be the first such pinnacle event for both Simeon and Lucy and there is a very real feeling of excitement in the air.

Like their Olympic counterparts, the team’s role has three distinct phases – planning and preparation including the supplies and equipment needed for the Games, set up and delivery on the ground, and pack up and reporting immediately afterwards.

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Para athletics stars benefit from long standing support

Holly Robinson under the watchful eye of HPSNZ’s Mikey Jacobs

Two Kiwi Paralympic athletes from vastly different athletics disciplines are enjoying the benefits of their long standing relationship with HPSNZ’s Dunedin based Strength & Conditioning coach and Biomechanist, Mikey Jacobs.

Gold medal long jumper and 100m sprinter, Anna Grimaldi, and javelin gold and silver medal winner, Holly Robinson have been under the watchful eye of Mikey, who is also Anna’s coach, for 10 and eight years respectively.

Anna and Holly share their Paralympic experiences, and the important role their HPSNZ Athlete Performance Support teams play as they look to add to their medal tallies in Paris.

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Olympic and Paralympic Perspectives: Justin Muschamp

Justin Muschamp competing at Sydney 2000 Olympics

Bronze medal Paralympian #128 Justin Muschamp broke new ground when he competed for the Wheel Blacks at Sydney 2000. As the only wheelchair rugby player with cerebral palsy, Justin’s inclusion was a new challenge for the sport’s classifiers.

Away from his time as a competitive athlete, Justin has spent more than 30 years working in the disability sector, the last four and half years as a Senior Disability Advisor for Sport NZ.

Justin is the seventh in our series featuring HPSNZ and Sport NZ Paralympians and Olympians and shares his experiences from Sydney 2000 and his passion for supporting people with disabilities.

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Connect with the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission 

The new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission will commence operation on July 1, 2024. The Commission will support organisations to deliver sport and recreation in a safe and fair way in Aotearoa, and help protect athletes and participants from discrimination, harm and other threats to integrity. The entity will have wide-ranging responsibilities and powers.

Make sure you are aware of the work of the Commission and the role it will play supporting safety and fairness in sport and active recreation by signing up to regular updates here.

There is still an opportunity to contribute to the finalisation of a Code of Integrity for Sport and Recreation in the coming months, so make sure you are on the list.

Join the Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission list…

Kiwi Olympians’ health care in great hands for Paris

Tahiti’s Teahupo’o wave
Tahiti’s Teahupo’o wave

The health of Kiwi Olympians will be in the hands of the vastly experienced Dr Bruce Hamilton, HPSNZ Director of Health and Olympics Health Team lead, and his 38-strong team of health specialists at Paris 2024.

Experience at two Olympics as a health specialist for Team GB and two as health team lead for New Zealand, along with four Commonwealth Games has provided Bruce with insights and understanding of what is needed to keep athletes in the best of health.  It has also given him a level of pragmatism which says expect the unexpected.

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Register now for Crossroads 2024

Barbara Kendall (NZL) celebrates her bronze placing.
Barbara Kendall (NZL) celebrates her bronze placing. Photo: Dean Treml / www.photosport.co.nz

Registrations are now open for Crossroads 2024, a two-day athlete forum to support New Zealand Olympians and Paralympians as they transition between and from pinnacle event campaigns.

Kiwi Olympic legend Barbara Kendall (pictured) will be keynote speaker at the event hosted by HPSNZ’s Performance Life team in Auckland. The forum will include guest speakers, active workshops and a careers expo.

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Healthy Women in Performance Sport driving change through 2024

HPSNZ Cycling Cambridge

Four key projects that will drive change are underway for HPSNZ’s Healthy Women in Performance Sport programme.

The projects have been identified as priorities in partnership with athletes and NSOs and follow through on the outcomes of a recent workshop with partners and stakeholders.  Each project has specific deliverables over the next few months.

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