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News

Published on 7-Jun-2017

Para athletes and coaches continue their Pathway to the Podium

As we move into a new Paralympic cycle it is a good opportunity to focus on our future Paralympic hopefuls. As such, we would like to recognise our Para athletes and coaches who have been selected for the Pathway to Podium Programme 2017.
 

Pathway to Podium (P2P) is a partnership between Sport New Zealand, High Performance Sport New Zealand, and targeted National Sporting Organisations to ensure emerging athletes are fully prepared to enter the demanding high performance sport system.

P2P operates through a national network of 14 Regional Talent Hubs. The hubs provide opportunities for athletes from different sports to come together, attend educational workshops, and receive advice and instruction in various athlete performance support disciplines such as strength and conditioning, nutrition, athlete life and psychology. A hub coordinator works with athletes, coaches, and National Sporting Organisation staff to provide coordinated support to best prepare athletes for high performance and international competition.

The Pathway to Podium programme is very competitive with limited spaced available. Athletes are selected to the programme by nomination from their National Sporting Organisation. For Paralympics New Zealand, nomination considerations include performance progression, readiness for international competition, and demonstrated commitment to desirable high performance behaviours. 

A total of 11 Para athletes in Para swimming, Para cycling and Shooting Para sport have been selected by Paralympics New Zealand and 5 additional Para athletes have been nominated by Athletics New Zealand and Snow Sports New Zealand.

Para cyclist and first year Pathway to Podium athlete Hannah Pascoe has already commenced her involvement in the programme with Sport Southland: “Attending the first seminar, I was overwhelmed and felt as if I were having an out of body moment, looking in at someone else being offered this cool opportunity as it was to surreal to believe it was me sitting there taking in this information. Now and along with everyone else, I am interested to see where this will lead and believe this will be a good positive thing.”

Pathway to Podium is also designed to support the coaches of the emerging athletes. As such, 16 Para sport coaches will also benefit from this programme. Michael Johnson, coach of Shooting Para sport athlete and 2nd year Pathway to Podium participant, Neelam O’Neill, has found the programme to be particularly valuable for his own development:

“I think the P2P coaching programme is a great initiative and an excellent way to connect both athletes and coaches. The programme really supports the coaches and helps progress its participants to meet the needs of their athletes. The supportive environment allows coaches to challenge themselves and work towards being better in their roles as coaches. We are given access to some amazing speakers and professionals in their field, and are able to connect with those aspects that can help us be better in what we do.

The other great aspect of the P2P coaching programme is that it puts you in an environment with coaches from all sorts of different sports. This then gives you the opportunity to learn from others that may have already had the same challenges you may be going through. There are a lot of commonalities amongst the different sports in the coaching world.”

The Pathway to Podium Programme runs from May to March, with a new intake selected annually.

Congratulations to all Para athletes, coaches and support teams for your hard work and commitment that has earned your place in this programme. Thank you also to High Performance Sport New Zealand, Sport New Zealand and the Regional Talent Hubs for supporting our Paralympians of tomorrow. 

For more information about the Pathway to Podium programme, visit the websites below or contact PNZ Para Sport High Performance Athlete Development Manager, Melissa Wilson at mwilson@paralympics.org.nz 
Sport NZ - Pathway to Podium information
HPSNZ - Pathway to Podium FAQs

Pathway to Podium Selections 2017 – Para athletes

Name

Sport

Region

P2P Year

Coach

Olivia Upston

Para swimming

Auckland

3

Kurt Basset

Tama Soluata

Para swimming

Auckland

1

Gary Francis

Celyn Edwards

Para swimming

Canterbury

1

Ben Close

Nick Blincoe

Para cycling

Auckland

3

Matt Archibald

Nicole Murray

Para cycling

Waikato

3

Cath Cheatley

Nau Puriri

Para cycling

Northland

2

Kerry Reyburn

Mitchell Wilson

Para cycling

Waikato

2

Katie Schofield

Sarah Ellington

Para cycling

Auckland

1

Laura Thompson

Hannah Pascoe

Para cycling

Southland

1

Sid Cummings

Neelam O'Neill

Shooting Para sport

Auckland

2

Michael Johnson

Ronan Murphy

Shooting Para sport

Auckland

2

Stan Murphy

Libby Leikis

Para athletics

Wellington

2

Mike Ritchie

Keegan Pitcher

Para athletics

Auckland

1

Hamish Meacham

Jack Lewer

Para athletics

Manuwatu

1

Richard Drabczynski

Guy Harrison

Para athletics

Hawkes Bay

1

Laura Langley

Aaron Ewen

Para alpine skiing

Otago

1

Jane Stevens

PNZ News

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