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Coach Accelerator: High-flying coaches urged to apply

Friday 19 November, 2010

The hunt is underway for six coaches with ambitions to develop world, Olympic or Paralympic champions.

SPARC, the New Zealand Academy of Sport and national sports organisations are working together to increase New Zealand’s pool of world-class coaches and are seeking applicants for the next intake of the Coach Accelerator programme.

The Coach Accelerator initiative is part of the strategy to ensure further New Zealand high performance success.

The programme is funded by SPARC and is administered by the New Zealand Academy of Sport.

Coaches with world-class potential can apply by 1 December to be selected for the three-year professional development programme. The names of those selected will be announced in February next year.

SPARC General Manager High Performance Martin Toomey says the coaches may already be successfully coaching elite athletes but the aim of the programme is to provide new skills and challenge them further to ensure they are capable of producing world, Olympic or Paralympic champions in the next five years.

Six coaches started the programme in 2009 with another six joining it earlier this year.

The first intake of coaches was: Steve Hansen (rugby), Mike Hesson (cricket), Yvette McCausland-Durie (netball), Tom Willmott (snowboarding), Dave Thompson (rowing) and Dayle Cheatley (bike).

The second intake was: Grant Bradburn and Gary Stead (cricket), Mark Stallard (rowing), Tim Brazier (triathlon), Justin Grace (bike), and Scott Talbot (swimming).

Cheatley, BikeNZ’s assistant track coach, encourages other high performance coaches to apply.

"I have been on many coaching courses and programmes, but the Coach Accelerator programme has been something special. The interaction between coaches during the year is fantastic. The Coach Accelerator challenges your thinking and decisions - you learn a lot about yourself and your coaching style,’’ Cheatley says.

The Coach Accelerator initiative provides financial support and professional development training. Over the three years, participants receive individually-tailored professional development, attend residential camps, and get sport-specific and generic coach training.

Coaches working with athletes in the SPARC high performance network can apply.

Priority may be given to coaches involved in the following targeted sports: athletics, bike, cricket (men), netball, rowing, rugby (men), swimming, triathlon, and yachting.


For further information, please contact Sue Eden, Senior Communications Adviser at SPARC, by calling 04 472 8058 ext 3090 or 021 490 797 or by emailing; or call Communications Manager Andrea Blackshaw on 04 472 8058 ext 3978, or 021 953 349 or by emailing