July 2022, Case Studies

Case study: Women in High Performance Sport - Tanya Hamilton

The Women in High Performance Sport Residency programme came at just the right time for Surf Lifesaving NZ High Performance Manager Tanya Hamilton, who was looking for a new career challenge.

Previously a performance nutritionist at HPSNZ and a high performance athlete, Tanya joined Surf Lifesaving as the High Performance Coordinator to give her career a new direction.   

“The Residency programme was an amazing opportunity that came along soon after I stepped into my role with Surf Lifesaving and the fund enabled the role to be upgraded to a fulltime High Performance Manager position.” 

Tanya says the Residency network proved to be hugely valuable as she moved into her new challenge, in large part because it brought her into contact with like-minded women in other sports and helped create a strong network for the future. 

Surf Lifesaving is a complex organisation with multiple high performance disciplines but always with a primary focus on life guarding. 

“A key part of my focus with our outstandingly successful high performance team, the Black Fins, has been on wellbeing – not just physical, mental and emotional but also the systems, processes, clarity of roles and communications.” 

Tanya used some of her personal development fund to participate in a mixed gender leadership course which involved three 3-day residencies over 18 months which she says was very valuable. 

“My current role is my first in a leadership position at this level in high performance sport and the Residency fund provided invaluable leadership training with a group of like-minded people.  It has provided a constant challenge, growth and learning opportunity which I am thoroughly enjoying.  

“I have some goals I’m determined to achieve for the sport including building sustainability, promoting greater collaboration across the sport’s disciplines and working towards the vision of creating surf lifesaving sport champions and role models that inspire New Zealanders.” 

Tanya says that for her, success will be to get things humming and know that when she steps away it will still hum.  

Tanya Hamilton