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News posted on Thursday 27th August, 2020

New initiatives for female coaches and leaders in High Performance sport

Laura Thomspon cycling coach with cyclist on the track

High Performance Sport NZ (HPSNZ) has today launched the two main pillars of its $2.7 million Women in High Performance Sport pilot project which seeks to create the right environment and opportunities for far greater representation of women in high performance leadership and coaching positions.
The initiatives launched today through a webinar for high performance system leaders are:

  • The Women in High Performance Sport Residency Fund, through which HPSNZ has funded and helped place eight female leaders and coaches within the high performance programmes of national sporting organisations.
  • A new coach development initiative – Te Hapaitanga – specifically designed to grow the talent pool of emerging and future female high performance coaches.

“We are committed to driving positive change for women in high performance sport and excited about what can be achieved through these two initiatives,“ says HPSNZ CEO Michael Scott.
“Female athletes make a massive contribution to New Zealand’s success on the international sporting stage, however women remain significantly under-represented in high performance leadership and coaching roles. This needs to change.“
Across the 28 Women in High Performance Sport project target sports, there are only four women currently appointed to high performance director or manager positions, with one of these positions funded through the new Residency Fund, and only 23 percent of the 114 current carded coaches are women.
Sonia Boland, HPSNZ’s Women in High Performance Sport Project Lead, says today’s webinar was an exciting milestone for the $2.7 million pilot.
“A lot of important work has gone into developing these two initiatives. Today we have been able to introduce the 20 highly capable and talented female coaches and leaders who are engaged in the project and start to share how being involved in the pilot will benefit their careers and improve the representation of female coaches and leaders in the high performance system.“
“Having these women stand together, even virtually, is a powerful statement about what can be achieved, but it is also a reminder of the mountain we still need to climb with the support of national sporting organisations and others,“ says Sonia Boland.
The eight residency positions are funded by HPSNZ through until June 2021. The women who have secured these positions are:

  • Sarah Blake – Cycling NZ (High Performance Programmes Lead)
  • Kari Carswell – NZ Cricket (Head Coach Women’s U19, Head Coach Women’s Development Programme, White Ferns Assistant Coach)
  • Rosie Chapman – Yachting NZ (Women’s Sailing Manager)
  • Tanya Hamilton – Surf Life Saving NZ (High Performance Manager)
  • Melinda Hodgson – Basketball NZ (High Performance Programmes Manager)
  • Natalie Lawrence – NZ Football (Future Ferns Domestic Programme Assistant Coach, WU20’S Assistant Coach, Coach Mentor)
  • Esther Molloy – Netball NZ (High Performance Programmes Manager)
  • Michelle Wood – Snow Sports NZ (Performance Services Manager)
Para cycling coach Laura Thompson fixing a bike

The Te Hapaitanga coach development programme will run for 18 months and provide a range of opportunities for 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. Included within the programme are workshops with HPSNZ coaching experts, mentoring and financial support through scholarships of up to $15,000.
The 12 coaches taking part in Te Hapaitanga represent nine sports and eight regions around the country. They are:

  • 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)
  • Pelesa Semu – Netball (Wellington)
  • Hannah Starnes – Rowing (Hamilton)
  • Laura Thompson – Para cycling (Invercargill)
  • Maia Vink – Football (Wellington)

Story written by High Performance New Zealand

Photo credits: Dianne Manson

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