Craig Palmer to lead HPSNZ’s new Core Knowledge coaching initiative

Road & Track

Craig Palmer to lead HPSNZ’s new Core Knowledge coaching initiative

High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) has appointed Craig Palmer to lead its new Core Knowledge coaching programme.

After a successful pilot in 2021, Core Knowledge has been set up as an education programme to support National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) to develop coaches in the early stages of their high performance pathway careers.

Palmer joins HPSNZ after 15 years with Cycling New Zealand (CNZ), where he worked successfully as both a sports scientist and head coach.

Palmer has coached both the women’s and men’s endurance teams during his time at CNZ, including two-time World Champion Alison Shanks, double Olympic medallist Hayden Roulston and Tokyo silver medallist Campbell Stewart. He will continue to lead the men’s endurance team through to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games before joining HPSNZ in September.

As head sports scientist from 2008 to 2012, Palmer played a key role in developing innovative software initiatives to enhance training and competitive performance.

HPSNZ Director of High Performance, Steve Tew, says Palmer went through a rigorous recruitment process, and while there were a number of very high callibre candidates, Palmer stood out due to his experience.

“Craig has excelled as both a head coach and a sports scientist within Cycling New Zealand, and it’s that experience and knowledge that make him the right candidate for this role.

“Core Knowledge is an extremely important initiative which aims to provide coaches with the core knowledge and critical skills they need to help ensure athletes receive not just quality coaching, but the overall holistic support they need to be successful.”

Seventy coaches from 10 NSOs were involved in the 2021 Core Knowledge pilot with 196 coaches from 25 NSOs registered for this year’s programme.


Palmer says he’s excited about the new challenge ahead, channelling his expertise and experience into making the Core Knowledge programme successful.

“For me, the time is right for the next big challenge and this is an exciting initiative. I’m really looking forward to being a part of something that will help others grow and improve their knowledge of high performance coaching.

I am passionate about cycling and coaching, and have loved working with so many outstanding athletes at Cycling New Zealand. The program is in great shape and the future looks bright with some outstanding talent in place, so the time is right to step aside and allow someone else to continue the progression of this programme.”

Media contact:
Michelle Pickles
Group Media Manager
021 833 244

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