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Women in High Performance Sport Project

Female athletes significantly contribute to New Zealand’s success on the international sporting stage, yet females remain significantly under-represented in high performance sport leadership and coaching roles.

Improving gender equity in sport in New Zealand and implementing the Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation Strategy, launched in October 2018, is a key Ministerial priority. The Strategy seeks to enable women and girls to realise their potential in and through sport and active recreation. HPSNZ has an important role to play in realising this vision.

In October 2019, the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Grant Robertson,  announced confirmation of $2.7 million to fund the Women in High Performance Sport pilot project designed to take active and targeted steps to address systemic issues associated with gender equity in high performance.

The project reflects the principles of the Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation Strategy and is delivering on one of the 24 commitments bringing the Strategy to life: Commitment #8 – Deliver initiatives to increase the number of women in leadership and coaching roles within the high performance system.

The project, the first of its kind for HPSNZ, is aimed at creating the right environment and opportunities to enable greater representation of women in high performance leadership and coaching positions. The project will be delivered through three core streams of work that focus on leadership, coaching and the high performance sport working environment.

The project recognises that raising the visibility of, and demonstrating the valuable contribution made by female leaders and coaches in high performance sport, will inspire future generations and help position New Zealand for sustained sporting success.

The integration of a diverse cohort of leaders and coaches into high performance programmes will provide organisations with the opportunity to critically assess their workplace culture, values and behaviours and to implement sustained changes to improve diversity and inclusion practices.

Core Project Streams
Women in High Performance Sport Residency Fund Developing a diverse cohort of talented, highly capable, future female leaders and high performance coaches through funding eight fixed term employment opportunities in NSO high performance programmes.
Te Hāpaitanga A high performance coach initiative designed to grow the talent pool of emerging and future female high performance coaches.
NSO HP Environment Working in collaboration with NSOs to foster sustainable and inclusive high performance sport environments.
Project Aspirations
  • New Zealand’s high performance system is well positioned to be leading the world with regards to women’s development and gender equity.
  • New Zealand’s high performance sport system is aligned with, and contributes to Government, Sport NZ and other stakeholders gender equity and diversity strategies.
  • Year-on-year there is an increase of women in high performance sport leadership and coaching roles.
  • There is an established pipeline of talented and capable women ready to step into leadership and coaching roles at the high performance level.
  • Women see leading and coaching in the New Zealand high performance system as a viable career option.
  • High performance sport environments have evolved to meet the needs of a diverse workforce so they are better placed to take full advantage of the competitive edge truly integrated diversity and inclusion can provide organisations.

Women in High Performance Sport Residency Fund

Diverse and inclusive leadership brings breadth of perspective, better decision making and greater opportunities for innovation. This in turn creates more connected teams and organisation environments that can lead to better performance outcomes for athletes, leaders, coaches and sports.

The HPSNZ Women in High Performance Sport Residency Fund recognises that diversity and inclusion does not happen by chance, rather it requires structural and organisational change, and in some instances, temporary special measures are needed.

The Residency Fund is developing a diverse cohort of talented, highly capable, future female leaders and high performance coaches through funding fixed term employment opportunities within NSOs high performance programmes as part of a competitive recruitment process.

Sustained commitment and a willingness to challenge existing work models and structures are essential if there is to be an increase in female leaders in New Zealand’s high performance sport system. The integration of a diverse cohort of leaders into the high performance system provides NSOs and partners with the opportunity to critically assess their workplace culture, values and behaviours and to implement sustained changes to improve diversity and inclusion practices and behaviours.

WHPS Residency Funded Positions
  • Sarah Blake, High Performance Programmes Lead, Cycling New Zealand
  • Rosie Chapman, Women’s Sailing Manager, Yachting New Zealand
  • Tanya Hamilton, High Performance Manager, Surf Life Saving New Zealand
  • Melinda Hodgson, High Performance Programmes Manager, Basketball New Zealand
  • Esther Molloy, Silver Ferns Manager and High Performance Programmes Manager, Netball New Zealand
  • Michelle Wood, Performance Services Manager, Snow Sports New Zealand
  • Kari Carswell, Women’s Residency Coach, New Zealand Cricket
  • Natalie Lawrence – Future Ferns Domestic Programme Assistant Manager, WU20’S Assistant Coach, Coach Mentor, Football New Zealand

 

Residency Fund Guidelines

Te Hāpaitanga – The act of elevating, lifting and empowering

There are a number of interconnected and complex challenges that are preventing female coaches from pursuing and maintaining a career in high performance coaching. The lack of a visible or accessible coaching pathway for women, limited access to hands-on coaching opportunities to develop capabilities, being isolated, undervalued or underutilised in coaching roles and limited advocacy for diversity in coaching teams, are all contributing to the low number of women competing for coaching roles.

Te Hāpaitanga is a holistic coach development initiative designed to enable more females to pursue and maintain a career in high performance coaching in New Zealand.

The 18-month Initiative provides a range of opportunities for a cohort of future or emerging female high performance coaches to test and develop their coaching capability, and to develop new skills to navigate a complex and challenging career in high performance sport. Central to the vision of Te Hāpaitanga is the integration of emerging female coaches into a community of practice supported by their experienced peers.

The Te Hāpaitanga Initiative will:

  • CONNECT emerging female coaches with their peers and established female high performance coaches to provide mentoring and inspiration to help navigate a career in high performance coaching.
  • ACCELERATE the growth and development of emerging female coaches by mitigating current and future challenges to pursuing a career in high performance coaching.
  • INTEGRATE both an identified national sporting organisation (NSO) Sponsor and an experienced coach mentor into the female coach’s development journey to maximise access to existing resources, knowledge and experiences.
Te Hāpaitanga Coaches
  • Jenny Armstrong – Yachting (Dunedin)
  • Temepara Bailey – Netball (Auckland)
  • Mel Bosman – Rugby Union (Nelson/Tasman)
  • Lizzie Green – Equestrian (Hamilton)
  • Jonelle Quane – Surf Life Saving (Christchurch)
  • Whitney Hansen – Rugby Union (Christchurch)
  • Gemma Lewis – Football (Auckland)
  • Kim Mickle – Athletics (Christchurch)
  • Palesa Semu – Netball (Wellington)
  • Hannah Starnes – Rowing (Hamilton)
  • Laura Thompson – Para-Cycling (Invercargill)
  • Maia Vink – Football (Wellington)

 

*Residency Funded Coaches, Natalie Lawrence (Football NZ) and Kari Carswell (NZ Cricket) are also part of the Te Hāpaitanga cohort.

Te Hāpaitanga Guidelines