Balance is Better champions

Our Champions support partners who are tackling change to ingrained competition formats, tournaments, and selection processes in their sport focusing on 11-18 year olds.

The Balance is Better Champions programme aims to ensure all young people receive quality experiences in sport and better prepare athletes to reach their future potential as senior athletes, by putting the needs of the participants and athletes first.

The issues are: 

  • Childhood success does not reliably predict adult success
  • Identifying athletes and specialising early is taking its toll on young people
  • A focus on development should be emphasised over winning

Our Balance is Better Champions are:

Andrew Ellis (Canterbury Cricket player and former Black Caps player)

Gemma McCaw (Former Black Stick Hockey player)

Lara Andrews (White Sox Softball player)

Les Elder (Black Fern Rugby player)

Mike Dawson (Former Canoe Slalom Olympian)

Rebecca Dubber (Para swimmer and Paralympic bronze medalist)

Sophie Devine (White Fern Cricketer and former Black Stick Hockey player)

Wendi Henderson (Former Football Ferns player and team captain, and current national league coach)

Our champions will work primarily with sport system groups such as sport leaders, coaches, parents and on occasions athletes.

Contact the Sport Development Team for more information.

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