Massey University’s School of Sport and Exercise and Sport Manawatu have developed a new sporting academy to develop the next generation of Olympians.
The Manawatu Athlete Development Academy caters to athletes aged 15-20 who have begun to break into international competition, but are not yet eligible for High Performance Sport New Zealand assistance.
It is open to athletes from all sporting disciplines living within the Manawatu, Horowhenua, and Tararua regions. The academy offers athletes access to mentoring, workshops, sport science testing and other services.
The programme will be led by local high performance coach Andrew Nicholls, who has taken up the newly established role of Coach in Residence at Massey. He has recently returned from coaching duties with the New Zealand Youth Olympics team, and is a personal coach to Olympic triathletes Ryan Sissons and Kris Gemmell.
"I am excited to get to work with some of the region's most talented athletes,” he says. “By supporting their drive and enthusiasm with the combined resources of Massey University and Sport Manawatu, I will be able to help them on their way to becoming high performance athletes,” says Mr Nicholls.
Programme organisers, Sport Manawatu sport and recreation manager Hamish Meacheam and Massey lecturer Ian O’Boyle, are hoping the academy will cater for up to a dozen athletes this year beginning in March.
“We are hoping to attract and support the very best young athletes in the regions. We are thrilled to be working with Massey University to bring this academy to our region,” Mr Meacheam says.
Applications for the Manawatu Athlete Development Academy are open now. Apply via the Sport Manawatu website www.sportmanawatu.org.nz. Applications close February 8.