December 2022, Articles

Third group of Te Hāpaitanga participants announced

The 15 participants announced to join the third cohort of HPSNZ’s Te Hāpaitanga represent a broad range of sports including snowboarding, rowing, rugby, cricket, cycling, swimming, athletics, equestrian, football, water polo, basketball and netball.

Selected participants are:

  • Janey Charlton and Anna Delong – Rowing
  • Victoria Grant – Rugby
  • Sara McGlashan – Cricket
  • Ellie Tressider – Snowboarding
  • Aimee Woodhead – Swimming
  • Rushlee Buchanan – Cycling
  • Nuree Greenhalgh – Athletics
  • Alison Rowland – Equestrian
  • Annalie Longo – Football
  • Megan Thompson – Water polo
  • Justine Reed – Basketball
  • Anna Tasola-Andrews and Tia Winikerei – Netball
  • Gabrielle Peach – Weightlifting


Te Hāpaitanga programme lead Jody Cameron says the interview panel was impressed with the quality of coaches who have been accepted into the third group.

“We have had 28 female coaches go through the programme since its inception in 2020.  A standout for me in the makeup of this next group is the number of women who have increased their responsibility in their coaching roles, working with a higher calibre of athlete.”

The third intake begins in February 2023 and participants will experience the first of their five residentials early in the programme.

Residentials are the backbone of Te Hāpaitanga’s 18-month programme, designed to enable more women to pursue and maintain a career in high performance coaching in New Zealand.

HPSNZ Update spoke with Canoe Racing NZ Performance Coach, Emily Willock, a participant in the second group in the Te Hāpaitanga programme, to get her reflections on the residentials following completion of the third of five so far.

Weather and COVID affected the first residential of HPSNZ’s second Te Hāpaitanga programme, originally scheduled for Gisborne but subsequently moved to Taupō.

The focus of the first residential was on how to take concepts of Te Ao Māori and tikanga marae and apply to coaches and coaching and how to project that to athletes and others.

Emily says the Te Ao Māori concepts were very enlightening but also very deep kaupapa to understand with people she had only just met.  “This was the first time we had connected face to face so coming to terms with new people and new concepts was initially a struggle.”

By the end of the three-day residential, Emily says she had a much better understanding of the concepts and her direction going forward and was also able to use the learnings to reflect and work with her mentors afterwards.

Residential number two was held at HPSNZ’s Auckland offices.  The focus for the three days was three-fold: an emphasis on nutrition, fueling and working with athletes, on tough conversations – how to communicate and listen, and on skills acquisition across codes.

“Through role play we learned to change our mindset and see ourselves as athletes see us,” says Emily.  “Typically, we are the ones who video our athletes and not the other way around. To see yourself as athletes see you was a revelation and made me quite critical of myself.”

The group also spent time with HPSNZ’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT) who joined them for several sessions.

Weather was a factor again for the third residential held recently at Aoraki Mount Cook.

“More time was initially spent on theory as poor weather prevented us getting out onto the mountain,” says Emily.

“Given the challenges of mountain climbing, the delay enabled us to focus on rock climbing to gain confidence and to really spend time on Snow Sports Head Coach Tom Willmott’s theory of mental states – flow state which happens seamlessly and naturally, and clutch state – a similar concept but one that you have to make happen to achieve optimal performance.”

Guides helped build participants confidence which was particularly important for Emily.

“We spent a lot of time in self-reflection, learning to understand how confidence is affected by internal and external environmental factors and how it can be coached.  There are three levels of confidence – self-esteem, context-based confidence and, finally, self-efficacy confidence; that confidence that says… at this moment how capable am I of executing what I need to, in this case rock climbing.”

Emily needed to put all her learnings into practice when she fell and rolled an ankle rock climbing.  “It certainly affected the rest of the experience for me.  I did complete the mountain climb despite the ankle but my confidence in my ankle severely changed what I believed I could and couldn’t do.”

After eight months in Te Hāpaitanga Emily says it has been amazing.  “There have been battles but there have been massive lessons learnt.”

Emily Willock doing the hard yards in preparation for the Aoraki/Mount Cook climb