Triathlon New Zealand (Tri NZ) recently confirmed its 2013 High Performance Squad, with a total of 14 athletes named in a three tier system by Tri NZ High Performance Director (HPD) Graeme Maw as the sport refocuses for the next four to eight years.
Athletes have been selected consistent with the new 2016 and 2020 Tri NZ High Performance athlete pathway and aligned with the framework of the ‘carding’ system of High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ).
The three tiers are:
1. Podium: Tracking toward a podium finish at the 2016 Olympic Games
2. Podium Development: Tracking toward a top 8 finish at the 2016 Olympic Games & toward a podium finish at the 2020 Olympic Games
3. Development: Tracking toward a podium finish at the 2020 Olympic Games
The investment of time, resources and money in 14 athletes is a significant reduction from the 21 supported at the end of 2012, a move Maw says was clearly signposted to all in the 2012 independent review into the High Performance Programme.
“The Review highlighted that the way forward was by way of a narrow based pathway with higher world class standards, using an evidence based high performance selection process for more effective investment, this squad selection is in line with that conclusion.
“While this has made for a number of tough calls, the athletes that have been selected will have clarity around their performance goals and targets and expectations while in the Programme. I am excited about the 14 athletes named today; they are our focus, this is where our attention will lie and they will be given every opportunity to fulfil their potential within clear guidelines and expectations.
“The focus is very much on medal potential in 2016 and 2020, meaning we must support those athletes progressing towards the podium, and we must ensure development athletes track quickly along the athlete pathway. While we need a critical mass to work with, development athletes will have clear messages around their targets.
Maw says that a fundamental is the need for improved and better resourced talent identification, to in effect create a larger pool outside the 14 named athletes or add to that pool.
“This was one of the key pillars in our new 2020 HP Strategic Plan and will play a large part in the success of the sport over the next 4 to 8 years. We must become more adept in identifying talented young athletes who have the potential to excel in triathlon and put them in an environment that gives them every chance of succeeding. You will see an emphasis in the area of talent ID, with new initiatives within and outside the existing triathlon community rolled out this year.”
The athletes selected in each of the three tiers are as follows (with contracts through until the end of the 2013 World Triathlon Series Grand Final in London in September):
• Andrea Hewitt, Christchurch
• Kate McIlroy, Wellington
• Ryan Sissons, Auckland
• Simone Ackermann, Whangarei
• Sophie Corbidge, Auckland
• Rebecca Kingsford, Tirau
• Mikayla Nielsen, Waikato
• Tony Dodds, Wanaka
• Bryce McMaster, Auckland
• Maddie Dillon, Auckland
• Elise Salt, Auckland
• Sam Ward, Auckland
• Aaron Barclay, Gore
• Andrew Ranford, Auckland