CRNZ New.jpegUpdate from the Chair

- Daniel Gerrard

It is with pleasure that I present, on behalf of the Board, my first Community Communique.

Board Changes

During the past five years serving on the Board I have thoroughly enjoyed the outstanding international success, the challenges, and dynamics that exist within the sport of Canoe Racing. I am therefore truly honoured to take over the role of Chair through until the end of my term, February 2014.

Firstly I would like to acknowledge the contribution that Craig Greenwood has made to the sport and in particular to the Board serving in the Chairman’s role over the past year. It is with regret that I have accepted Craig’s resignation from the Board. Craig’s sound business advice and personal connections have been of huge benefit to us all. His contribution will be missed.

It is the Board’s intention to advertise for the vacant appointed board member position shortly. 

New High Performance Coaching Staff

I am also pleased to acknowledge an increased investment from HPSNZ to $1.2M which allows us to shift from a year-by-year campaign based approach to establishing a sustainable programme-focused high performance plan.

The establishment and on-going development of a High Performance Coaching Team is a key initiative in this shift. As such it is with pleasure that we welcome Steve Ferguson as the full time Intern Coach and Andras Szabo to the 0.6 role of Assistant Coach, to join our Head Coach Gordon Walker.

I’d also like to acknowledge the work of Leigh Barker (Christchurch based/para-canoe) and Alan Thompson (HP development squad) who are currently contracted to provide additional coaching support.

CEO Recruitment

As we embark on an exciting new era in our sport it is timely that we have initiated our search for a permanent CEO. Info can be found on this LINK

I would like to reinforce the Board's commitment to this appointment and highlight that the successful candidate must demonstrate strengths in building a culture of openness, transparency and trust, and taking the sport of competitive Canoe Racing forward collectively with the Canoe Racing community. The incoming CEO will need to demonstrate the leadership necessary to successfully deliver our HP programme while addressing the needs of our grass roots members and wider community. 

2013 - 2016 Strategy

Thank you to those who participated in the consultation process. The Board appreciated the high standard and thoughtfulness of the responses we received. We were encouraged by almost all responses supporting (or supporting with some reservations) the more refined high performance focus.

The Board also recognise the strong support for marathon articulated by almost every respondent and the commonly held view that limiting CRNZ to sprint is not the direction the community wants going forward. The new CEO will be tasked with re-invigorating the Marathon and Ocean Racing Committees so that these disciplines can be delivered by the enthusiasts with CRNZ support/guidance.

As a result of the feedback received we have made changes to the Strategy document to remove the purely canoe sprint focus of the draft and we've taken on board the respondents desire for detailed operational information. Once completed the high performance, sport development, and communications operational planning documents will be available to interested members.

The Board also recognise that the clubs want to feel greater ownership for the direction of CRNZ and more engagement with the decision-makers. The consultation process was the first step in the Board understanding the direction the clubs want to see for CRNZ. Once the new CEO is in place we will organise for the Chair and CEO to have direct engagement with each club to build and strengthen an open communication pathway.

High Performance Training Centre (HPTC)

The Board has agreed in principle that we need a centralised high performance programme to deliver sustainable HP outcomes in the long term and that to do this the development of a HPTC is required. Work already undertaken by consultant Peter Dale short listed four potential sites for the development of a HPTC. Lake Karipiro was the final recommendation in his report. The Board is going to contract further work to investigate the opportunities and challenges presented at Karipiro. This work will be HPSNZ funded.

If the final decision is to establish a HPTC at Lake Karipiro there will be careful planning undertaken around transitioning from our current decentralised model to a centralised programme. We also recognise that a shift to a centralised model will have implications for our clubs. We will need to ensure that the clubs are well supported to continue developing the next generations of potential high performance athletes to both feed the HP programme in the long term but to also support a healthy, vibrant sport at the grass roots level.

In closing, and on behalf of the Board, I would like to wish our National Team all the best for their upcoming 2013 ICF World Cup Campaign. I have no doubt that they will continue the successes of 2012 and represent us well.

Daniel Gerrard, Chairperson


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