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WHISPA Members Bios

Dane Baker

Dane is a New Zealand Registered Dietitian who has worked with high performing New Zealand athletes over the past 10 years. In 2008 he worked in Qatar where he was a sports nutrition specialist at ASPETAR, a world leading sports medicine facility. Since his return in 2009 he has worked with the Chiefs rugby team, were he has been part of setting up an innovative research program with Otago and Waikato Universities, which drives many of the nutrition and sports medicine interventions the team apply. During this time Dane has also worked extensively with High Performance Sport New Zealand where he is a Senior Performance Nutritionist and the lead provider for the Black Ferns 7’s team (2014-current), NZ Men’s Hockey (2010- present) and previously NZ Swimming (2010-2017). Dane is also involved with numerous research projects and is a guest lecturer in Sports Nutrition at Auckland and Otago University.

Dr Katherine Black

Katherine Black is a senior lecturer within the Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago and is responsible for the sports nutrition programmes offered at the University. Her research interests are in the area of sporting performance, nutrition and health. Recently, her research has focused on the health of female athletes, conducting several research projects on the risk of low energy availability and its health consequences amongst New Zealand athletes.

Ryan Turfrey

Ryan is a strength and conditioning specialist for HPSNZ, providing support to the Rowing NZ High Performance program based at Lake Karapiro.  He holds a Masters of Sport and Exercise Science degree with 1st Class Honours from the Auckland University of Technology, and has research interests in priming/potentiating strategies, and the impact of muscle architecture on performance.

Ryan has a decade’s worth of experience in the high-performance system, and has led the design and implementation of strength and conditioning strategies that have supported success at both an Olympic and World Championship level.

Jacinta Horan

Jacinta has spent 20 years as a sports physiotherapist working across a wide variety of sports including 9 years with NZ Women’s rugby (both Blackferns and Blackferns sevens). In 2019 she became New Zealand’s first and currently only Sports Physiotherapy Specialist. She has a keen interest in female athlete injuries, the athletic hip and groin, sporting shoulder and tendon injuries. Jacinta is passionate about learning and being able to share knowledge gleaned from working with international level athletes, with the wider physiotherapy profession and the general public.

Jacinta’s time is split between working as a Consultant Sports Physiotherapy Specialist (in NZ and overseas), sports physiotherapist in private practice (Bureta Physiotherapy in Tauranga) and working as a sports physiotherapist at pinnacle events for NZ teams.

Being part of the nationwide WHISPA working group allows Jacinta to combine her passion for female sporting performance and leading edge research.

Dr Megan Ogilvie

Megan is a reproductive and general endocrinologist currently working at both Fertility Associates and the Auckland District Health Board.   Megan completed her training in female endocrinology at St Bartholomew’s Hospital and Middlesex Hospital in London and her particular areas of interest include female athlete triad, polycystic ovarian syndrome and menopause.

Penelope Day

Penelope is a general Practitioner and sports doctor from Christchurch whose practice is strongly female oriented.   She has had a strong interest in women’s health since working as a GP obstetrician. Due to her sports medicine interests Penelope consults a large number of athletes of varying abilities from recreational to elite. Managing young female athletes has emphasised the importance of appropriate training choices and the ability to access quality information early in athletic careers.

Penelope has travelled extensively with predominantly age group women’s teams in football and netball as well as attending both Youth Commonwealth and the Commonwealth Games as a NZ team doctor. These competitive situations have highlighted the specific challenges female athletes face in their sports.

Being part of the WHISPA working group  will enhance athlete and providers ability to select the best evidence to support women in sport.

Holly Thorpe

Associate Professor Holly Thorpe (PhD) is a sociologist working in the Faculty of Health, Sport and Human Performance at the University of Waikato. Her research focuses on women in sport and physical cultures, and she is passionate about finding new ways to work across disciplines to provide more multi-dimensional understandings of female athlete health. She has organized two Female Athlete Health Symposiums (2015, 2017), and is co-founder of Fuel Aotearoa.

You can read more about Dr Thorpe’s work here

Shaun Paterson

Shaun started his career in Sport Science with multiple appointments across various academic settings while developing a number of roles with regional sporting groups including regional academies.  He has previously been a strength and conditioning (S&C) tutor with the Waikato Institute of Technology, progressing to working with a number of NZ sports and teams.

Shaun led the S&C component of the Pathway to Podium (P2P) program in the Waikato for 3 years, along with S&C delivery for the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cycling HUB.  After a stint delivering S&C for St Peters School, Cambridge, Shaun transitioned to a full time Strength Specialist role with High Performance Sport New Zealand. He is now Lead S&C for Cycling NZ at the Cambridge Home of Cycling which includes the development, delivery and monitoring for all Cycling based programs.

His area of interest is weightlifting derivatives and the development of athletic power and speed, as well as muscular adaptation to strength and power stimuli.

Sarah Beable

Sarah is a Sport and Exercise Physician at Axis Sports Medicine and is the lead specialist at Axis Alpine in Queenstown.

Sarah has worked with athletes from a wide range of sports and attended the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 and the Rio Olympics 2016 as part of the NZOC Health Team.

Sarah worked as the Medical Director for Cycling New Zealand, a position she held for  almost 4 years. Her past team experience also includes working with a variety of teams including the Silver Ferns, Capital Pulse Netball, Wellington Phoenix Football, Counties Manukau Rugby, as well as a wide range of endurance sports and events.

Sarah herself has competed in a range of sports, namely netball and athletics representatively in her younger years, moving to long distance triathlon later on competing at multiple age group world championships, and also ticking the Hawaii Ironman World Championships off the bucket list. Although she no longer competes she continues to do recreational endurance events, and an avid believer of exercise is medicine, thoroughly enjoying basing herself in beautiful Queenstown.

Sarah runs private clinics in both Queenstown and Auckland specialising in low energy availability in the active athlete, and the range of issues that this can encompass. She recently published research on Depression and Associated Life Stress in Elite Athletes and continues to be passionate about optimising mental well-being in the sporting population.

Nat Hardaker

Nat is originally from Yorkshire, UK where she spent 5 years’ in a dual role as a research assistant (leading several research projects focusing on patellofemoral pain, cryotherapy and thermoregulation), while concurrently working clinically with a focus on Sports Injury rehabilitation particularly in adolescent athletes.

On moving to New Zealand Nat secured a role in the ACC Injury Prevention team in the ACC sports portfolio. Nat currently leads multiple sports Injury prevention programmes for ACC including Netball, Football, Concussion and the overall SportSmart framework. Nat is a current member of Sports Medicine New Zealand – Wellington Branch committee, and is also involved in local sport committees.

Natalie is currently engaged in a PhD study assessing the impact of the female athletes’ physiology on recovery from concussion.

Bruce Hamilton

Bruce is the Director of Performance Health for High Performance Sport NZ and the NZ Olympic Committee.   In this role he is accountable for the provision of health care services to NZ’s elite Olympic and Carded HPSNZ Athletes.   In addition to undergraduate degrees in Physical Education and Medicine, Bruce has postgraduate qualifications in Tropical Medicine, Sports Law and is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Sports Medicine.  In 2017 he was awarded a Medical Doctorate from Otago University for his research investigating hamstring muscle injuries.

Bruce has attended four World Track and Field Championships, two World Triathlon Championships, four Commonwealth and three Olympic Games in a medical capacity.

Bruce coordinates the WHISPA working group.

Katie Schofield

Katie Schofield is a doctoral candidate at the University of Waikato, where she is researching the physiological and socio-psychological aspects of energy availability in elite athletes. She has completed degrees in exercise science, nutrition, and a Master of Physical Education at the University of Otago. Katie has many years of personal experience in the application of science theory to track cycling performance, as a former member of the NZ elite track cycling team between 2012-2016.

A diagnosis of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-s) in 2014 was the catalyst for her doctoral studies which will contribute to research in athlete health.

Jess Meyer

Jess is a Performance Physiotherapist based in Auckland with High Performance Sport NZ. She has been physiotherapist for the NZ Women’s Hockey team for the last 4 years attending the Rio Olympics, Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Hockey World Cup. She has also worked in the core health team at numerous World University Games, Youth Olympics and Youth Commonwealth Games.

Prior to physiotherapy Jess studied Physical Education, major in Sport and Exercise Science and Exercise Prescription and Management.  Jess has a keen interest in injury prevention, having completed her Master of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy investigating the efficacy of injury prevention programmes in sport.

Dr Stacy Sims

Stacy is an exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist working as a Senior Research Fellow at Waikato University’s Adams High Performance Centre. Her research delves into understanding the sex differences of heat and/or altitude stress, recovery, genetics, and nutrition to moderate adaptive responses for performance.

Stacy is currently working with international Olympic, world champion, and professional athletes, researching and applying practical sport science including: implementing cooling and heat adaptation strategies; hydration practices; and overall nutrition to improve performance outcomes and overall health.  Stacy’s research in the performance realm centres around female sex hormone influences on fluid homeostasis, Oral Contraceptive Pill effects on performance and metabolism, nutritional considerations, and exercise performance in environmental stressful conditions (heat, altitude).

Stacy has co-founded several sports hydration companies, and has been touted as creating the new sports nutrition niche of low carbohydrate, electrolyte functional hydration.  She is the author of ROAR, a comprehensive, physiology-based nutrition and training guide specifically designed for active women.

Katherine Oberlin-Brown

Katherine Oberlin-Brown has been involved in elite sport as an athlete, academic and sport scientist for most of her life. She knows what it takes to succeed as an elite athlete having achieved two World Motocross Championship Titles in 2006 and 2007. When it was time for her to look away from being a full-time athlete, the decision to be involved in developing future champions as a Sport Scientist was easy and she applied the same work ethic, passion, and dedication to her academic studies achieving top graduate (BspExSc) and first class honours (MSc).

Katherine has been working in elite sport for the past four years with athletics, rowing, and hockey. From 2014-2016, she worked in the Rowing New Zealand programme, where she supported the Men’s eight and Women’s eight and pair campaigns, as well as the U23 and Junior. In 2017, she moved to Auckland to begin a dual role as Performance Physiologist and Strength and Conditioning Coach with the Blacksticks Women’s Hockey team. Her primary tasks include training load and performance monitoring, assisting training program design, testing and other physiology related tasks (e.g. recovery strategies, ergogenic aids, travel planning, warm up and pacing strategies etc.), as well as gym-based S&C coaching.

Dr Alison Heather

After graduating with a PhD in Physiology from the University of Sydney, Alison received an NHMRC Fellowship to undertake studies in Endocrinology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. She spent five years at the Heart Research Institute and four at the University of Technology, Sydney before moving to the University of Otago as Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology.

Alison’s research interests focus on hormones and she leads an innovative and technology-focused team developing tests to detect the use of sports doping agents. In her free time, Alison loves to walk the talk, competing in Ironman triathlons and ultra-marathons.

Alison was recently selected as a member of the Australian team for the International Triathlon Union’s long course triathlon event.

Dr Stella Milsom

Stella’s post graduate training has included a research fellowship with Professor Peter Gluckman at the University of Auckland, followed by clinical fellowships in the USA and in London.  She returned to New Zealand in 1993 as a reproductive endocrinologist within Fertility Associates, Auckland, the Department of Reproductive Medicine at National Women’s Hospital and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Auckland.

Stella is on the Boards of Osteoporosis New Zealand and Human Fertility UK, is the current Chairman of Endocrinology training in New Zealand for the Royal College of Physicians, is a member of the National Health Committees formulating guidelines on hormone replacement therapy and fertility preservation, a board member of the New Zealand Endocrine Society  and is an advisor to Pharmac.  Her clinical and research interests include ovulatory disorders, especially the polycystic ovary syndrome and hypothalamic amenorrhea.

Rob Creasy

Rob completed a  Physical Education Degree with honours in Exercise Science and a BSc in Physiology at Otago University from 1999-2004. Following undergraduate study, he worked for the Canterbury University Sport Science department from 2004 to 2007 where he was tasked with conducting the physical testing and developing the physical condition for regional, national, and international level athletes in sports including rowing, cricket, Paralympic swimming, softball, wheelchair rugby, track cycling, triathlon, ice speed skating, and rugby league.

In 2007 Rob accepted a scholarship to study for an MSc in Exercise Science through Massey University, simultaneously supporting two athletes competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and in 2009 he began a PhD in Exercise and Environmental Physiology through Otago University while continuing to be employed by Triathlon New Zealand as the Sport Physiologist and Support Services Manager. His responsibilities included preparing the athletes and leading the support services teams for Triathlon World Championships, the 2012 London Olympics, 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, and preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

In July 2016 Rob joined the Royal New Zealand Navy as a Warfare Officer on HMNZS Wellington.

Dr Lynne Coleman

Lynne’s practice has been grounded in women’s and adolescent health working as a general practitioner for over 25 years prior to moving more specifically into sports medicine.   Lynne has a passion for female sports medicine and takes a holistic view to those athletes in her care, as a provider for HPSNZ.

Lynne has travelled extensively as a team doctor, many of those tours with female sports teams across different sporting codes.  Lynne has represented NZ at the highest level of medical support, at many multisport summer events since 2004.

Lynne is the Medical Director of Swimming NZ and is a fellow of both the RNZCGP and RNZCUC, holding post- graduate diplomas in Obstetrics and Sports Medicine.   Lynne receivea a MNZM for services to sport and health in the Queen’s birthday Honours in 2015.