With the Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, Cycling New Zealand is already putting in place new development plans for the future.
Today the organisation announced it has joined with naming partner Vantage Windows & Doors to establish the Vantage National Sprint Development Programme which will focus on nurturing the talent from its Regional Performance Hubs through to world level.
The track sprint programme is taking a strategic approach to develop a pipeline over the next two Olympiads, with an athlete pathway essential in Cycling New Zealand’s High Performance vision.
Seven riders, based at Cycling New Zealand’s headquarters at the Avantidrome in Cambridge, have been named for the squad to come under the tutelage of Cycling New Zealand Assistant Sprint Track Coach Fionn Cullinane.
The squad is: Jordan Castle (Manawatu), Patrick Clancy (Waikato), Emma Cumming (Southland), Shaane Fulton (Tasman), Olivia King (Waikato), Bradly Knipe (Southland), Olivia Podmore (Canterbury).
“This is a key part of our strategic plan and was identified by both athletes and coaches alike,” said Cycling New Zealand High Performance Director, Martin Barras. “Our ultimate goal, which is to achieve a high performance vision of people driving performance and outcomes, requires clarity of purpose and a focus on end-to-end athlete development.
“Our goals are to help sustain performance at pinnacle events and provide a daily training environment that supports athlete development towards Olympic outcomes. This programme is a clear and visible pathway of opportunity which will comprise key transition points through the pipeline to monitor progress.”
Cycling New Zealand Lead Sprint Coach, Rene Wolff believes the development squad will provide a more focussed opportunity to hone skills.
“They will be working alongside our elite squad and will get to learn and work with them. But we can also now provide a development programme to nurture them to be competitive individually.
“We have had three men who have been at the top of the sprint world and the challenge now is to utilise those learnings to ensure we can have an internationally competitive pathway going forward to Paris and beyond.
“Among this first group are those with a fair amount of international experience and some success, so we are genuinely excited at the prospects of being able to work with this group more closely.”
Cycling New Zealand acknowledges the support of Vantage Windows and Doors has provided in the formation of this development programme.
Dave Downey, CEO of APL Window Solutions says, “We are excited to play our part in the development of this programme and the opportunities it presents for the next generation of elite sprint athletes. We look forward to following the progress of these athletes closely as they strive for success on the international stage”.