June 2024, Articles

WiHPS Residency Experience continues to evolve approach

The recently confirmed 2024 Women in High Performance Sport (WiHPS) Residency Experience participants include three women from sports and, for the first time, two women from within HPSNZ who will undertake the leadership and professional development part of the programme.

This year’s Residency Experience involved input from a wider range of people than previous cohorts and as a result women from a diverse range of experiences applied for the 2024 intake.

Two of the newly appointed residents, Julie Blake form Bowls and Catherine Logan-McLeod from Squash, will have their current roles promoted to HP Manager roles and Antonia Harrison joins Volleyball NZ in the newly created position of NZA Beach Volleyball Head Coach on her return from coaching in the USA.

They will be joined by two internal HPSNZ staff members, Investment Advisor Sophie Williamson, and Physiotherapist Helene Baron.

HPSNZ WiHPS programme lead, Helene Wilson, says it is important to provide opportunities to process learning from various perspectives and how it is applied in practice, and WiHPS can provide this opportunity across leadership roles in the wider high performance sector.

“We see ourselves working in partnership with NSOs to shift the diversity of high performance leadership and coaching, achieving 30% women by 2028.  It’s an ambitious target but one which will be made more achievable with the creation of multiple connections from diverse parts of the high performance sector,” says Helene.

Squash NZ CEO Martin Dowson says the Residential Experience programme is a significant win-win-win.

“It’s a win for the system, securing and retaining a high potential woman in the HP system which I predict will have lasting benefits.  It’s a win for our sport, leveraging Catherine’s potential in a leadership role to make a lasting impact on our HP system.  It’s also a win for Catherine who will be fast tracked in her development, given her fantastic growth mindset and high motivation.”

Squash NZ resident Catherine says she is beyond thrilled and grateful for the opportunity and is ready to get stuck in.

Like his colleague at Squash NZ, Mark Cameron, Chief Executive of Bowls New Zealand says the opportunity for his NSO to elevate its high performance programme with the role of a fulltime HP manager is one that cannot be underestimated.  “We are grateful for the acknowledgement from HPSNZ in supporting us and specifically Julie in this role.”

Bowls New Zealand resident, Julie Blake, says being accepted into the WiHPS Residency Experience is a genuine privilege that she’s determined to make the most of.  “The support I’ve received from Bowls New Zealand, along with the admiration for our athletes who are dedicated to reaching the pinnacle of our sport drives my goal to grow as a leader to support them achieve their high performance dreams.”

Helene says a continuum of care for leaders and coaches beyond a Residency Experience is emerging as an important element of achieving their goals.

“NSOs are committed to the sustainability of quality leaders and coaches in these positions, and we will continue to support them to ensure the right opportunity is there for the great people we have in NZ.

“HPSNZ’s role across sports is to bring together the current cohort as well as our new residents to share learnings, case studies and feedback on how they navigate the many contextual challenges we all face in high performance.

“Joining NSO based residents and HPSNZ’s aspiring leaders is an exciting evolution of the women in sport movement, so we have diverse leaders included in our high performance system,” says Helene.

At the 2024 Residency Experience induction day [L to R facing camera] Lisa Wallbutton (2023 Basketball resident), Sophie Williamson (HPSNZ), Julie Blake (Bowls) and Catherine Logan-McLeod (Squash)