December 2021, Articles

Wellbeing a key priority in HPSNZ 2022-2024 investments

HPSNZ investments announced today reflect a multi-faceted approach to the wellbeing of athletes and all those in the high performance sports sector. A total of $131 million direct investment to sports over the next three years is designed to support both performance and wellbeing outcomes.

In addition to that, HPSNZ is investing $19 million in the provision of Performance Support services, most of which directly support athlete mental and physical wellbeing and a further $7.4 million in wellbeing initiatives.

HPSNZ Wellbeing and Engagement lead Neena Ullal says the intention is to work in partnership with sports on this complex area over the next three years, to build on what is already in place and enhance system wide wellbeing.

“We already provide holistic support to athletes through Performance Support services such as psychology, strength and conditioning, nutrition, medical, physiotherapy, massage therapy, and athlete life coaching.”

“That is our foundation layer supporting individual wellbeing. We want to build on this by working with sports on a range of system wide wellbeing initiatives to further support athletes, coaches and NSOs by enriching their training and performance environments.

Investment over the next three years will include funding for the first of several wellbeing managers for NSOs, increased access to independent support services and a range of pilot projects where sports have identified specific opportunities in their investment applications.

“We are giving sports the opportunity to explore different ways of doing things. We will support that both by working with sports individually and bringing sports together to develop cross-sport solutions.”

HPSNZ will also be working with NSOs to improve mental health literacy and empower coaches and NSOs to be more confident in responding to athletes who may be struggling to meet the needs of high performance sport.

Another priority is enabling all people within high performance environments, including athletes and coaches, to have a voice and be able to influence decisions that affect them. This includes ensuring the athlete voice mechanisms within each NSO are fit for purpose, as well as working to develop an effective system wide athlete voice mechanism.

Neena Ullal says there are several other aspects of the investments announced that will have a positive impact on wellbeing.

This includes the $25 million investment in direct financial support for athletes through Tailored Athlete Pathway Support (TAPS).

“TAPS includes a Base Training Grant or Development Grant for eligible pathway athletes. This responds to the impacts of financial pressure on athletes with a stable and dependable multi-year grant, not based on performance, that will provide a level of financial security.”

A minimum of 240-260 elite performance and performance athletes will receive a base training grant of $25,000 per annum, while a further 140-160 performance potential and foundation performance athletes will receive $10,000 per annum.

TAPS athletes will have the opportunity to top up their base training grants with excellence grants, across the length of the cycle and these can increase with higher levels of performance throughout the cycle.  TAPS athletes will also be able to access fully funded medical insurance and Prime Minister’s Athlete scholarships.