CRNZ Performance Programme


CRNZ is restructuring our performance program. Gordon Walker will take on the newly-created role of Technical Director and will lead a re-shaped CRNZ performance programme. 

As part of these changes, we regret that Fred Loyer will be leaving CRNZ in August after three years as CRNZ’s Men’s Head Coach. We would like to acknowledge Fred’s great contribution to CRNZ and to the athletes he coaches. We have valued his skills, and we are grateful for his help in developing our current group of athletes and raising the performance level of our men’s program. Fred and his family will leave NZ at the end of the international season.

Gordon will continue to personally coach our top female athletes. Nathan Luce and Jasper Bats will continue in their current positions.


Two main factors led to this change: ((a) the difficulty of supporting our men’s programme adequately under our current structure, and (b) the difficulty in our current structure of creating a single “NZ approach” to performance.

The performance of NZ men at senior level over the last several years has not matched that of our senior women. The differing levels of performance have created pressure on our men’s programme – our funding (and allocation of HPSNZ resource, particularly their world-class support staff) depends largely on recent/current performance at senior pinnacle events (World Champs and Olympics), and potential for performance at these events in the current Olympic cycle. We acknowledge, however, the improvements in performance of the men’s squad under Fred’s coaching, especially recent results.

In addition, our current structure (separate men’s and women’s programmes, each with its own head coach) makes it difficult to create a single, NZ/CRNZ approach to performance in kayaking. A unified approach will allow us to do a better job of developing coaches and athletes from club to elite level, to communicate consistent, coherent messages on what it takes to be a champion kayaker, and to set out clear principles on how to train to achieve this. It will also allow us to put systems and structures in place that will make our programme more efficient.

We approached these issues with several factors in mind. The overriding concern was to give our athletes the best possible tools and support to be successful. We looked for a solution that will:

• support all athletes based on ability/performance;
• leverage the methods, approach and support of our women’s program for the benefit of our male athletes;
• create a coherent CRNZ approach to performance; and

• be consistent with CRNZ’s vision and principles.

New Structure

The main changes in the new structure are as follows:
• The separate men’s and women’s programmes (with their own head coaches) will be merged into a single program, led by a Technical Director. The roles of men’s and women’s head coach will be disestablished;
• The Technical Director’s role is to lead a World-class kayaking program in NZ. Gordon Walker will take on this role. His key responsibilities will be:
  o to set out the vision, strategy and performance principles for kayaking in NZ;
  o to lead the CRNZ coaching team, and personally coach targeted athletes; and
  o to create an environment that helps athletes work towards World-class performance.
• The Technical Director will be supported on the performance side by a team of Assistant Coaches. Coaches will work together, following a single approach to performance.
• The coaching team will work with our key HPSNZ support staff to support our whole program, using the systems and methods developed in the current CRNZ women’s program.

• The old HPAD role has been modified and becomes the Performance Development Manager position (now filled by Aaron Osborne). The Performance Development Manager will apply and communicate the vision, strategy and principles set by the Technical Director to help develop coaches and athletes, including by offering performance support to clubs. The PDM position is located in Cambridge.

The person most affected by this change is Fred Loyer, as his current role as Men’s Head Coach has been disestablished (and an Assistant Coach position established). Fred will therefore be leaving CRNZ. We are grateful that Fred has agreed to remain with us until World Champs this year to ensure continuity of support for our athletes. We really value Fred’s continued support, commitment and loyalty to CRNZ and our athletes.

HP Structure.JPG

Next Steps

Gordon Walker will assume the Technical Director role immediately. However, Fred Loyer’s role will remain unchanged until World Champs to ensure continuity for our male athletes.

Our male athletes will continue to live and train in Cambridge at the new High Performance Centre. We will begin a recruiting process for the new Assistant Coach on 18 March, aiming to have a new assistant coach located in Cambridge with our male athletes immediately after World Champs.

We will also begin recruiting shortly for an Intern Coach, based in Cambridge and funded by an HPSNZ Prime Minister’s Scholarship.

Through these changes, our priority is to support our athletes as well as possible. It is important to us not to disrupt the excellent work of our coaches and female athletes, and at the same time we will work to improve the level of support we offer our male athletes and keep improving their performance.


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