Pathway to Podium

Pathway to Podium is a nationwide talent development programme helping emerging athletes (usually in their late teens) and coaches be better prepared for the demands of a life in high performance sport.

What's the programme about?

  • Making the pathway to high performance sport clearer for pre-elite athletes and their coaches.
  • Getting support around potential medal winners early on, to give them the best shot at future success.
  • Through regional hubs, providing nationwide access to facilities and training as close as possible to their homes, families and peer support, until they're ready to enter the formal high performance system.
  • Providing support and guidance in areas such as performance planning, training regimes, mental skills training, strength and conditioning, and nutrition. 

"Pathway to Podium brings high performance support to local kids in their communities. There's no one place in New Zealand where talent springs from. Talent is everywhere and so no matter where an athlete is from, they'll be given support at a stage in their development that can really help them gain their entry ticket to one day competing for New Zealand on the world stage.''

- Peter Miskimmin, Sport New Zealand Chief Executive 

What are the programme's goals?

Pathway to Podium is about helping more Kiwis to win on the world's sporting stage. The goal is for some of the programme participants to win medals at Olympic/Paralympic Games or at world championships, usually around 8-10 years after starting their Pathway to Podium journey.

“It's a long, tough road to become a high performance athlete and I'm excited to be able to strengthen the pathway for our talented Waikato athletes.”

- Cath Cheatley, Waikato Pathway to Podium talent hub manager and former Olympic cyclist.

About 350 pre-elite athletes and 150 coaches from throughout New Zealand are selected to participate each year.


Who's running the programme?

Pathway to Podium is run in partnership between Sport New Zealand, High Performance Sport New Zealand and 14 regional talent hubs around the country.

The regional talent hubs support the delivery of the programme in partnership with local stakeholders from within and outside the sports sector. 

How do I apply for/join the programme?

Pathway to Podium isn't open to applications. Instead, emerging athletes and coaches are selected to join the programme each year. Selection occurs around April/May and is done by national sporting organisations (NSOs), such as Rowing New Zealand.

How do I find out more?

Because Pathway to Podium is delivered regionally, it's best to contact your closest talent hub for more information.

Regional talent hub contacts