07 March 2012


Rugby World Cup-winning coach Sir Graham Henry will work with some of the country’s leading high performance coaches ahead of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond, High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) Chief Executive Alex Baumann has announced today.

Baumann says Sir Graham will help coaches fine-tune their preparations, so they can perform at their best in London. Sir Graham’s first assignment is with the Yachting New Zealand Olympic coaches later this month.

Sir Graham has signed a two-year contract with HPSNZ, and will work part-time during that period.

Sir Graham is committed to the development of coach leadership and most of his work with HPSNZ will have a longer-term focus. He will take on a mentoring role with targeted coaches, and will work with HPSNZ to help national sport organisations build the leadership capability of their high performance coaches.

“Sir Graham has 40 years’ experience in coaching and he knows what it takes to lead players and support staff to be the best in the world,” Baumann says.

“He will work with a range of coaches, of both teams and individuals, to help them become effective leaders of their programmes and people, increasing their chance of achieving sustained success.”

Sir Graham says he’s looking forward to working with HPSNZ, high performance coaches and national sports organisations.

“It’s crucial for coaches to be effective leaders, so hopefully sharing the knowledge gained from my coaching experiences will help New Zealand’s coaches provide the leadership and coaching their athletes need,” Sir Graham says.

Baumann, who recently started in his new role as Chief Executive, says coaching is the top priority for HPSNZ and he’s very pleased to have Sir Graham as part of the coaching team.

“If you have the best coaches in the world, then your athletes have a much better chance of performing at the highest level. Coaching is all about the athlete, and the right coaching is about making sure coaches deliver what’s needed to maximise success for that athlete or team.

“HPSNZ is prioritising resources for the development, recruitment and retention of high performance coaches, because we believe the quality of our coaching can be an area where New Zealand stands out against the rest of the world.”

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