01 December 2021

16 Women Coaches from 15 different sports across Aotearoa New Zealand have been selected for High Performance Sport New Zealand’s second intake to Te Hāpaitanga, a women’s coach development initiative.

Te Hāpaitanga – the act of elevating, lifting and empowering.

Te Hāpaitanga is one of a number of HPSNZ initiatives in our ongoing commitment to Women in High Performance Sport. It is a holistic coach development initiative designed to enable more females to pursue and maintain a career in high performance coaching in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Over 18 months Te Hāpaitanga will provide these 16 women coaches a range of opportunities that test and develop their coaching capability and allow them to develop new skills to navigate a complex and challenging career in high performance sport.

The 16 Women Coaches are;

  • Lucy Brown, Snow Sports, Queenstown
  • Fiona Bourke, Rowing, Cambridge
  • Danielle Cranston, Hockey, Auckland
  • Elyse Fraser, Cycling, Christchurch
  • Alana Gunn, Football, Christchurch
  • Honey Hireme-Smiler, Rugby League, Hamilton
  • Krystal Kaua, Rugby Sevens, Mount Maunganui
  • Arna Masjstrovic, Surf Life Saving, Gisborne
  • Terena Ranui, Football, Hamilton
  • Tamara Reed, Triathlon, Palmerston North
  • Julie Seymour, Netball, Christchurch
  • Holly Sullivan, Boxing, Christchurch
  • Heelan Tompkins, Equestrian, Rotorua
  • Leanne Walker, Basketball, Hamilton
  • Emily Willock, Canoe Racing, Gisborne
  • Angela Winstanley-Smith, Water Polo, Christchurch

NZRL GM of High Performance and Football, Motu Tony says, “Having Honey on the Te Hapitanga programme is great recognition for Honey and rugby league. Honey had an outstanding playing career, and we are excited that she now wants to coach at the highest level possible. The Te Hapaitanga programme will help Honey develop her coaching skills and experience further. We are incredibly grateful to High Performance Sport NZ for recognising Honey and the rugby league through this opportunity.”

In 2020 HPSNZ announced the inaugural intake of 12 women coaches to Te Hāpaitanga. Those women are now reaching the final stages of their 18-month journey.

Football’s Maia Vink, who was among that group, describes her experience; “Te Hāpaitanga has been an accelerant for me to understand the value that I bring, see my own purpose clearly, intimately work with some brilliant minds in sport, leadership and pedagogy, and enhance our performance systems as a team.”

“The conversations I have are richer, I am more aware of where to draw my attention to, when to lead, when to listen, and how to trust my intuition. In the moments I’ve faced challenges, my mentorship group has helped me shift my thinking and revealed strengths in me, I didn’t know were there. I am able to connect people together in deeper, more meaningful ways which has had a massive impact in our team and will lay the foundation of my coaching for years to come.”

Te Hāpaitanga connects emerging female coaches with their peers and established female high performance coaches providing mentoring and inspiration. The initiative accelerates the growth and development of emerging female coaches by mitigating current and future challenges to pursuing a career in high performance coaching. And it works by integrating the national sporting organisation (NSO) and an experienced coach mentor intoeach coach’s development journey for better access to existing resources, knowledge and experiences.