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Balance is Better

Cycling New Zealand support the balance is better philosophy from Sport New Zealand and the focus HPSNZ has on age and stage appropriate athlete development. As coaches, parents and the sport, we need to ensure that an appropriate environment of growth and development is established that instils the passion and key attributes that enable future success and a long term involvement in sport. This sampling of multiple sports rather than early specialisation is seen as being a more sustainable method of development.


Balance is Better philosophy

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



More information around this campaign can be found on the Sport NZ website. Click here to read more.


Cycling New Zealand also supports and works closely with High-Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ). We endorse the following statement shared by Ken Lynch- The High-Performance Athlete Development Manager for HPSNZ.

"Specialising later is not going to reduce New Zealand's chances of winning on the world stage, and the right support from parents and coaches is definitely a key ingredient, whether you're in grassroots sport or on a pathway to being an elite athlete."



Cycling New Zealand has a world class High Performance programme, and a strong focus on maintaining and increasing New Zealand cycling success on the global stage.  Development pathways to support young athletes progress through the sport, and nurture their potential, are an essential part of securing our ongoing success.  


We advocate an approach that focuses early development (pre-teens to early teens) on broad access to, and engagement with all types of cycling. Broad contact with the sport in early years encourages general skills development and a strong grasp of basic principles, which forms a strong platform for specialisation in later years.    


Cycling New Zealand is creating a legacy of performance in a number of events and disciplines. This legacy is driven through consistent performances in pinnacle events including Olympic and Commonwealth Games, and World Championships. To ensure Cycling New Zealand has the necessary talent to deliver world class performances at these events, we must create the structures and systems that will enable us to systematically drive our high performance rider development. Important to this is the establishment of a structured system of athlete development that ensure a pathway from club to international performer.


This effective framework and pathway will enable more athletes to access targeted development that will drive world class performance through clearer tracking and understanding of their development.


Cycling New Zealand Athlete Development Framework