December 2021, Articles

Elevating and empowering more Women Coaches in High Performance Sport

16 Women Coaches from 15 different sports across Aotearoa New Zealand have been selected for HPSNZ’s second intake to Te Hāipaitanga, a women’s coach development initiative.

Te Hāipaitanga – the act of elevating, lifting and empowering.

Te Hāipaitanga is one of a number of HPSNZ initiatives in our ongoing commitment to Women in High Performance Sport. It is a holistic coach development initiative designed to enable more females to pursue and maintain a career in high performance coaching in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Over 18 months Te Hāipaitanga will provide these 16 women coaches a range of opportunities that test and develop their coaching capability and allow them to develop new skills to navigate a complex and challenging career in high performance sport.

The 16 Women Coaches named during an online event on Wednesday 1 December 2021 are;

  • Lucy Brown, Snow Sports, Queenstown
  • Fiona Bourke, Rowing, Cambridge
  • Danielle Cranston, Hockey, Auckland
  • Elyse Fraser, Cycling, Christchurch
  • Alana Gunn, Football, Christchurch
  • Honey Hireme-Smiler, Rugby League, Hamilton
  • Krystal Kaua, Rugby Sevens, Mount Maunganui
  • Arna Masjstrovic, Surf Life Saving, Gisborne
  • Terena Ranui, Football, Hamilton
  • Tamara Reed, Triathlon, Palmerston North
  • Julie Seymour, Netball, Christchurch
  • Holly Sullivan, Boxing, Christchurch
  • Heelan Tompkins, Equestrian, Rotorua
  • Leanne Walker, Basketball, Hamilton
  • Emily Willock, Canoe Racing, Gisborne
  • Angela Winstanley-Smith, Water Polo, Christchurch


In 2020 HPSNZ announced the inaugural intake of 12 women coaches to Te Hāpaitanga. Those women are now reaching the final stages of their 18-month journey.

Mel Bosman from Rugby NZ a coach in Te Hāpaitanga’s first intake reflected during the online event. “Here I am 15 months in, and although it was a scary opportunity at first, I was also very excited by the challenge. I’ve just grown exponentially since then. I feel very honoured to be part of this programme. Now I’m very clear on what I want, I have a set plan, and this is because of Te Hāpaitanga. My tool bag is very full and I’m very excited to apply it for my next challenge.”

Te Hāpaitanga maximises opportunities for cross-sport knowledge sharing with participants coming from a broad range of sports, and each paired with a practice mentor from a different sport. Commenting on that aspect Mel said; “For me, it’s been gold. I am the only female coach where I’m based – it can be quite isolating. Having coaches around me with their own experiences, sharing their challenges and successes gives you confidence. It makes us all a lot stronger.”

Her advice to the 16 women coaches joining Te Hāpaitanga; “Be open to receiving learnings. I’m excited for you to get on the journey and experience it for yourselves.”

See our Women in HP Sport page for more information.

Fiona Bourke from rowing is one of 16 coaches joining Te Hāpaitanga in 2022