23 May 2018
Our fifth and final award category is the High Performance Campaign.
The purpose of the High Performance Campaign Award is to identify and celebrate a high performance campaign that has achieved an exceptional outcome for the athlete or team involved. The winner will tell the story of the campaign through the people who came together to support the athlete(s) to prepare and ultimately deliver their best performance.
We'd like to congratulate our finalists:
Black Ferns' Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 Campaign
The Black Ferns successful 2017 season was a landmark one for women's rugby, with the Black Ferns becoming the first women's team to ever be named the World Rugby Team of the Year. This recognition came off the back of their unprecedented fifth World Cup title, when they beat England in the final in Belfast.
New Zealand Rugby committed fully to the campaign - ensuring the team had world-class coaching and support staff, and was able to utilise the latest technology. The Black Ferns 7s and 15 aside teams were fully integrated for the campaign. The long term programme direction across both teams was designed with the Rugby World Cup as the pinnacle event. The teams worked together to ensure exceptional player management in the lead up to the World Cup.
For an amateur team, it was a campaign defined by its professionalism and a culture of leadership. An exceptional team, backed by the engine of NZ Rugby, resulted in a campaign which enabled the players to achieve their very best.
World Championship Gold Medal Men's Shot Put 2017
Tom Walsh's World Championship shot put campaign centred around an environment of challenge and innovation.
Thorough planning early in the campaign explored varying training loads and determined the timing and duration of the multiple peaks required across the 18 month competition schedule. Competition meets were identified under a coding system that allowed the team to prioritise meets in the build up to the 2017 IAAF World Track & Field Championships in London. Each competition had a rationale and an associated expectation. All aspects of Tom's life were then factored into the campaign plan, including financial opportunities and external obligations such as sponsorship.
Innovation proved a competitive advantage. The team were not afraid to break the mold where technology and evidence indicated a better way. They abandoned some traditional performance metrics in favour of a more evidence based approach. The team succeeded in building an athlete that could manage the clutter and demands of a world class track & field campaign, resulting in the goal of gold.
2017 World Doubles Squash Championships - Mixed Doubles Team
A strong focus on tactical, technical and physical preparation, was the hallmark of the Squash New Zealand campaign to support the Mixed Doubles Team of Paul Coll and Joelle King at the 2017 World Doubles Squash Championships.
The gold medal winning campaign was the result of many elements coming together including communication, tactics, execution and team chemistry. The experience gained from the 2016 World Doubles Championships, and the time spent together on court, saw Paul and Joelle work effectively to maximise these factors to their advantage.
The campaign was designed around three training camps which brought together NZ's top six mixed doubles players. These camps were designed to simulate the intensity and robustness of international competition and they allowed the team to trial different combinations, while creating a dynamic training environment. The camps allowed support staff to test the players' ability to adapt to different styles of play with frequently changing game plans and tactics.