April 2022, Articles

Wellbeing programme moves forward

Cate Sexton plans to do a lot of listening in order to move HPSNZ's wellbeing programme forward over the next few months and build on the work already being done.

The former Head of Women’s Rugby at NZR, Cate is charged with leading the Wellbeing Programme while HPSNZ establishes a dedicated Wellbeing and Leadership Group within its new structure.

The new group will be headed by a General Manager Wellbeing and Leadership, with additional dedicated wellbeing roles. Athlete Life, Leadership Capability and Women in HP Sport are also included in the Wellbeing and Leadership Group.

Cate says she firstly wants to acknowledge there are many people within the system doing very good things associated with wellbeing.

“There is a lot of work already going on behind the scenes.  It is very important we recognise that wellbeing is sport-led with HPSNZ providing the support necessary for sports to deliver initiatives within their daily training environments. And there are some excellent working examples of this.”

Cate says HPSNZ wants to work in partnership with sports to better understand their objectives and what investment or resources can be provided to help.

“Wellbeing is not linear, rather it is something that ebbs and flows, yet is part of everyday conversations for everyone – NSOs, coaches, support staff as well as athletes.  I believe strongly in the importance of partnerships and collaboration and our approach will be to have conversations with NSOs and, most importantly, do a lot of listening.”

The 2024 Strategy clearly states that the goal of the wellbeing programme is to create and support enriching performance environments that empower and support individuals to optimise their potential and enhance their ability to thrive in their sporting and non-sporting lives.

Following the launch of the strategy, HPSNZ’s focus has been on setting up the framework for this – by identifying guiding principles that will shape what is done in this area, and key focus areas that will help to shift the emphasis from policies and processes to people.

The guiding principles are central to HPSNZ’s work in this space:

  • Transparency: open lines of communication at all levels; information is clear, accurate, consistent and accurate
  • Inclusion: differences are acknowledged and embraced; people are confident they will be treated fairly, respectfully and can contribute to the team’s success
  • Continuous Growth: learning and development is prioritised; meaningful feedback mechanisms inform future direction and decision making


There are also a number of targeted activities that we will seek to progress now that there is a dedicated wellbeing resource in place, and as the additional dedicated, ongoing roles are established.