April 2023, Articles

HPSNZ's latest coaching initiative kicks off with new hosting feature

The first intake of coaches in HPSNZ’s latest coaching initiative, Kia Manawanui Performance Coaching in Action, came together for the first time earlier this month.

Kia Manawanui is a future-focused, coach development initiative designed to support coaches working with the next cycle of high performance athletes.

Fifteen coaches from 13 sports have been selected for the 24 month initiative and were joined by Head of Coaching and Programme Lead, Daryl Gibson, and Coaching Consultant, Lyn Gunson, for the inaugural two day workshop.

A unique feature of Kia Manawanui is a programme of hosting whereby each coach will host the wider group at their sports venue and demonstrate their coaching practice and challenges in the context of their own sport and issues it faces.

The first two coaches to host were Bowls NZ head coach Mike Kernaghan and Diving NZ’s high performance springboard diving coach Cordelia Norris who each took a half day session at their respective sports venues.

HPSNZ Head of Coaching and Kia Manawanui Lead, Daryl Gibson, says the hosting component of the new coaching initiative is a new concept for HPSNZ coaches which challenges them to perform with their athletes, observed by their peers.

“The purpose of the hosting part of the programme is to build awareness among high performance coaches of coaching practice and to observe and identify coaching techniques that can be applied to their own sport,” says Daryl.

Veteran national bowls coach, Mike Kernaghan, held a coaching session with arguably New Zealand’s leading bowler, two time Birmingham Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Selina Goddard.

Bowls NZ's Mike Kernaghan hosting a practical coaching session

Mike says being first cab off the rank for this new and unique coaching concept was a little nerve wracking but the other coaches were highly engaged and the debrief session provided an opportunity for coaches from other sports to ask questions that may have a correlation to their own sport.

“I did a drill with Selina which included getting her to identify what was going well and not well for her,” says Mike.  “This type of coaching learning is not about imparting technical knowledge.

“At the debrief a number of coaches talked about what dynamics of the coaching practice were different.  Take a sport like sailing when athletes may typically be on the water on their own whereas in the bowls environment I can be very close to my athletes.”

National high performance diving coach Cordelia Norris took eight of her divers through their paces, five of whom had competed in Birmingham.

“We are currently training for the first major competition of the season so it was a great opportunity for my divers to get some good training in and for me to demonstrate to the other coaches how I work to build my relationship with my athletes, something I believe is critical to their future success,” says Cordelia.

“I am really excited to have been selected for HPSNZ’s Kia Manawanui programme and to join other coaches from other sports, learning how they interact with their athletes.”

Cordelia says watching Mike earlier in the day was eye opening.  “You may not think bowls and springboard diving have a lot in common but I learned that the preparation I coach my divers to do when they stand on the board is no different to the way Mike prepares his bowlers in between bowls.”

The 15 coaches in the Kia Manawanui programme are:

  • Brad Prosser (Freeskiing)
  • Cordelia Norris (Diving)
  • Glen Wilson (Squash)
  • Heelan Tompkins (Equestrian)
  • James Mortimer (Athletics)
  • Jitka Klimkova (Football)
  • Nicolas Brown (Snowboarding)
  • Mike Kernaghan (Lawn Bowls)
  • Jenny Armstrong (Sailing)
  • Rob Moore (Speed Climbing)
  • Jason Koster (Judo)
  • Markus Somerville (Sailing)
  • James Hardaker (Diving)
  • Whitney Hansen (Rugby)
  • Jason Sklenar (Biathlon and Cross Country Skiing)


A further three hosting events will be held this year with the remainder in 2024.

Diving NZ's Cordelia Norris takes her divers and her Kia Manawanui peers through a training session