September 2023, Articles

Healthy Women in Performance Sport strategy takes shape

While the Healthy Women in Performance Sport (HWiPS) team, led by Dr Sue Robson, continues its round of athlete engagement and feedback, they have been busy developing the draft strategy which will underpin the programme for the next five years.

The strategy aims to take up the challenge of identifying the gaps and opportunities across three areas – Environments (safety, voice, choice), Knowledge (resource development, skills training, research) and Evaluation (baselines, progress, priorities).

A critical element of the strategic development process is the establishment of a group made up of team leads who will form the HWiPS operational core, including Performance Health (Dr Helen Fulcher), Performance Life (Chris Arthur), Physiology (Caroline McManus), Nutrition (Christel Dunshea-Mooij), Psychology (John Sullivan), Coaching Core Knowledge (Craig Palmer) and Performance Team Leaders (Katherine Oberlin-Brown).

The group will also work collaboratively with an Advisory Group comprising representatives from Sport NZ, tertiary institution disciplines of Sociology, Clinical Endocrinology, Physiology, Sports Medicine, Nutrition, Psychology, along with a Māori advisor and HR/Legal specialist.

Sue says the team is continuing to work with partner organisations and stakeholders including HPSNZ, NSOs and Sport NZ as well as continuing to engage with athletes.  “We will also engage with tertiary institutions, NZDF, NZOC and PNZ.

“In order to deliver on our vision, “Women and Girls thriving through Performance Sport”, we’ve identified four strategic outcomes which are pivotal to the change we need to make,” says Sue.

The four outcomes are:

  1. Leadership engagement, advocacy and resourcing of female athlete performance environments
  2. Improved awareness, knowledge and skills in leadership, coaching and support teams
  3. Athletes better equipped to make informed health, wellbeing and performance decisions
  4. Improve the identification, and management of female health and wellbeing issues.


The draft strategy is expected to be signed off by December this year.

In the meantime, Sue says female athletes, coaches of female athletes or others wishing to have a say can continue to do so and she encourages them to reach out either through their Athlete Leaders Network (ALN) contact or directly via the HWiPS email: