Do you dream of becoming New Zealand’s next Paralympic Champion?
Congratulations! You have made the first step and come to the right place! Here you will find all the information you need regarding Para sport talent identification and development opportunities in New Zealand.
Several times per year, opportunities are available for selection to National High Performance Para Athlete Development Programmes for selected Para sports. At present, National High Performance Development Programmes are offered in the sports of Para swimming, Para cycling, Para athletics and Adaptive snow sports.
Talent identification refers to the process of trialing for and selection to these National High Performance Para Athlete Development Programmes.
There are three main ways in which you can be invited to trial for a National High Performance Para Athlete Development Programme.
From time to time Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) or National Sporting Organisations (NSO) will host talent identification trial days or training camps.
Trial days and training camps may involve general tests of your physical capabilities, sport-specific assessments, observations of your behaviours during training and testing, and discussions of your sport experience and aspirations. Para athletes who meet the selection standards may be invited to join the National High Performance Para Athlete Development Programme, while those who do not yet meet the standards will be provided advice to assist in preparation towards the next open trial.
In preparation for the next open talent identification trial or camp, we strongly recommend you get started on your Para sport journey and join your local Parafed organisation or sporting club. A full list and links to the Parafed organisations and other sport providers can be found here.
To be alerted to be alerted to the next open Talent Identification trial or camp:
PNZ and NSO staff and Coaches frequently attend local, regional and national competitive events to observe Para athletes in action. Para athletes meeting the required performance standards and/or who display potential for rapid progression and future success in their sport may be invited to join the National High Performance Para Athlete Development Programme directly.
Your best chance of being identified through this channel is to get involved in competition and participate in a range of competitive events.
Para athlete recommendations
PNZ and NSO staff and Coaches maintain regular contact with a range of organisations to discuss new member registrations and Para athlete progress. Examples of the organisations we are regularly in contact with include the regional Parafed Organisations, Halberg Disability Sport Foundation, local coaches and disability support organisations. From time to time, Para athletes who are progressing rapidly and/or are outstanding performers are recommended through these discussions, and may be invited to join the National High Performance Para Athlete Development Programme directly.
Your best chance of being identified through this channel is to get involved in Para sport in your local area.
During talent identification and Development Programme selection, a range of characteristics are considered. These include:
- General fundamental movement skill ability
- Sport specific skill
- Behavioural characteristics such as effort, listening, determination, team work
- Ability to respond and adapt to coaches’ instructions
- Classification (and the international medal prospects for athletes with your classification)
- Potential for improvement and future success
At times talent identification opportunities are restricted to a very specific athlete profile (for example females aged under 23 with tetraplegia), while at other times, opportunities will be open to athletes of all ages and impairments. The specific characteristics of interest vary depending upon High Performance Medal opportunities and programme needs, but will always be clearly communicated during the talent identification process.
For more information on Talent Identification and to receive alerts on upcoming opportunities: