Otago Cricket join forces with High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) and Otago Academy of Sport (OAOS)

05 Sep 2018



Our Talent & Performance team have been working hard on accelerating the development of cricketers in Otago. We have successfully joined forces with High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) and Otago Academy of Sport (OAOS) to develop a ‘Tier 1 athlete support programme’. A number of male and female cricketers have been invited to join this newly established programme, which has been designed to provide identified cricketers with opportunities to develop their physical capabilities, mental skills, knowledge on nutrition and skills to balance their sport/life commitments. With help from senior staff at HPSNZ and OAOS our identified cricketers have been provided with access to the HSPNZ strength and conditioning facilities and specialist support from Megan Gibbs (HSPNZ S&C coach). As part of this programme, a series of workshops focusing on nutrition, mental skills and strategies for maximising the athletes progress in cricket and other areas of their life’s has been incorporated. The workshops will be delivered by experienced sport science practitioners who have vast experience working with pre-elite and elite athletes from multiple sports.

Otago Cricket’s Talent & Performance Manager Simon Forde is proud of the newly established partnership saying  “It’s great to be able to work together with these two quality organisations and to be able to access their expertise. This partnership will ultimately benefit our outstanding group of young players as we look to improve the quality of our playing base coming through our pathway system. It’s genuinely exciting to be a part of this partnership. “

Michael Coutts of OAOC and Dean Horo of HPSNZ  said “The Otago Academy of Sport through its relationship with the HPSNZ Regional Performance Centre is excited to be delivering talent development support for Otago Cricket. This is a fantastic opportunity for a select group of athletes to receive strength and conditioning and education support from expert local providers, delivered in a high performance environment. It is a great example of three organisations working collaboratively to support up and coming athletes in the Otago community”.

The identified cricketers were selected based on their past achievements at national and international level and their continued efforts to develop the relevant skill set for the Otago Volts and SBS Bank Otago Sparks in the near future. All of the identified cricketers are engaging in secondary or tertiary study alongside their pursuit of cricketing excellence; a process that Otago Cricket are proud to support through their partnership with the Otago Polytechnic who provide a number of performance scholarships to our athletes. There are also a number of these athletes studying with The University of Otago through their own scholarship programme. Eleven of the Sixteen members of the Tier 1 athletes programmes are current holders of a scholarship at either institutions.

Director of External Engagement and Communications at the Otago Polytechnic Mike Waddell says:  “We are delighted  to have an active partnership with Otago Cricket, as  you would expect performance on the field is just as important as performance off the field through sound academic achievement . Supporting students and developing their aspirations is what this partnership is about “     

Otago Cricket would like to wish their Tier 1 athletes all the best for the coming season and to encourage those cricketers aspiring to represent Otago in the coming seasons to keep developing their skills in the build-up to and during the coming season. Members of Otago Cricket’s talent identification network are looking forward to tracking the performance of age-group athletes across the season.

To view a list of our Tier 1 athletes, click here.