December 2022, Articles

Pre-HP athletes welcomed into HPSNZ fold

Twenty-two young Wellington athletes from eight sports are among the Pre-HP athletes being welcomed into the HPSNZ fold as part of a Performance Pathways Hub Project.

The project is being rolled out in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin and will see athletes identified and connected to their sport’s national pathway and receive HPSNZ support while continuing to train in their home region.

“Athlete development is at the core of this programme. It is designed to help them to achieve their athletic and life goals by establishing an environment where the athlete and their circle of support feel comfortable to engage,” says Wellington Project lead Wai Taumaunu.

The Wellington athletes from Athletics, Basketball, D-sport (Disabled Sport, Wellington), Diving, Netball, Rowing, Softball and Squash were joined by parents, coaches, Regional Sports Organisations, HPSNZ representatives and sport independent facilitators for an official welcome recently. Welcome events will shortly be held in Christchurch and Dunedin and more athletes are expected to join the project in 2023.

HPSNZ Pathways Manager Tracey Paterson says the project is designed so that sports and young athletes partner around holistic planning (managing their short-term goals against longer term aspirations) and development support, with a clear high performance pathway, which they wouldn’t otherwise have.

“It is an exciting time as we work with performance networks in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin to learn together how we best support the country’s future sporting talent. We are doing this with an eye to the future and achieving repeatable success in the 2028 and 2032 cycles (including World Championships, Commonwealth Games, Olympic and Paralympic events).”

The hubs will contribute to the HPSNZ 2024 Strategy, which has a stated objective of working with sports to identify and develop athletes they have the right attributes, abilities, and motivation for future international success, taking a longer term and holistic view.

The project is designed to help build a pipeline of talent that will be crucial to New Zealand’s future success on the world stage. It will support athletes to transition into the high performance category over time equipping them with the tools to thrive in the high performance environment and manage future transitions they will face.

Squash player Oliver Dunbar, one of 22 young athletes who have joined the Regional Pathways pilot project in Wellington