CRNZ recognises the need to have great coaches delivering a high standard of coaching across the whole system and the importance of coaches in promoting access to safe and enjoyable paddling experiences.

The CRNZ Coach Development Framework is designed to enable coaches at all levels to access resources and development opportunities to continuously enhance their knowledge, skills and understanding, so that paddlers at all levels, whether beginner, high performance or recreational, are able to enjoy positive paddling experiences and achieve their individual aspirations.

This framework aligns coaches with specific paddling communities, from beginner level paddlers all the way up through the pathway to high performance paddlers.

Formal development and coaching awards/qualifications ensure that all CRNZ coaches have an understanding of the key areas of focus in their paddling community and can work safely and competently with paddlers at a given level.

Further details of the  development opportunities and coach award are outlined below.

To download the full PDF on CRNZ Coach Development click here
For more information please contact Aaron Osborne:


CRNZ Coaches Conference 2023
Saturday 4th/Sunday 5th November 2023- Auckland 

Hosted by Canoe Racing NZ in partnership with High Performance Sport New Zealand, the CRNZ Coaches Conference is an opportunity to connect the New Zealand coaching community to explore key insights for effective preparation of athletes.
This event is targeted at supporting the development of coaches who are working or aspiring to work with competitive athletes. The event is open to anyone from any sport to attend however, there are limited available spots.

Coaches Conference information and registration details

Coach Development Workshops/Seminars

To register to receive emails with workshop links,  please click here
Coaches of any level or sporting background are welcome.

The programme is made up with blended learning sessions from interactive workshops to presentations. This approach will help develop a learning environment to challenge, connect with others while still allowing time for you to reflect on your learning. While each presentation relates to an area within our framework it must be understood that we see coaching as an integration between all of the domains. Therefore, we ask you to challenge yourself to see how each area impacts and affects each other. 

The coach development program has been developed in a way that will leave you challenged and reflecting on each topic. We believe this will inspire you to be more curious and further your knowledge and experience.  


  • Youth Athlete Development – with Mathew Mildenhall
    Monday 27th March, 7.30-8.30pm – Delivered via Zoom 
    In this session we will discuss some of the physiological, psychological, and environmental aspects that coaches should be aware of when working with maturing athletes


  • Casual Coach Connect – with Mathew Mildenhall 
    Wednesday 5th April, 7.30-8.30pm – Delivered via Zoom
    In this session we will reflect back on the Youth Athlete Development workshop. The causal connect will give you time to connect with other coaches and with Mathew. It’s your time to ask questions and make sense out of the previous workshops with other like-minded coaches.


  • Practical Application to Building Performing Environments – with Dom Vettise
    Wednesday 17th May, 7.30-8.30pm – Delivered via Zoom
    At the foundation of all high performing individuals and teams should be a culture of care and connection. In this workshop you will be provided education around how to enhance athlete and team performance, without compromising theirs, or your own wellbeing. Key messages will include understanding five dysfunctions or a team, psychological safety, leadership, setting up feedback loops and positive psychology. There are clear and practical takeaways that you can start using in your own environment (no matter the level), immediately.

  • Application to Training Program Development – with Mathew Mildenhall
    Monday 29th May, 7.30-8.30pm – Delivered via Zoom

    This will be an interactive session and give participants the opportunity to apply their learning from previous workshops using practical case studies and group discussions to help solidify concepts.

  • Brain Development and Youth Brain Development – with Dom Vettise
    Thursday 29th June 2023, 7.30-8.30pm – Delivered via Zoom

    The brain interprets the world around use, then drives the way we think, feel and behave. Knowing how the brain develops, and then how it is express through behaviour can better help you to understand your athletes. With a particular focus on the youth brain, this workshop will allow you to think more diversely about how to get the best out of youth. Additionally, it will help you as a coach understand the limits of the youth brain, and why treating them like small adults will not always work, but how you can enhance their resiliency and also the coach-athlete relationship.

  • Understanding Performance- with Mathew Mildenhall
    Tuesday  18th July, 7.30-8.30pm- Delivered via Zoom
    In this workshop Mathew will introduce and discuss the physiological demands of sprint kayaking and how they relate to performance. This approach to understanding performance can be used in other paddling disciplines.

    Understanding Learning Cycles – with Dom Vettise
    Wednesday 16th August, 7.30-8.30pm – Delivered via Zoom

    As a coach, creating an environment that enhances learning is optimal for performance.  Understanding how different athletes learn, and what shapes learning through easy to understand psychology concepts will allow you to think differently about how you catch, rather than just what you coach.  In this workshop you will also be provided with some practical ways to prebrief and debrief athletes that entrenches learning faster, and promotes athlete autonomy.

  • Mental Health 101 – with Dom Vettise
    Thursday 21st September, 7.30-8.30pm – Delivered via Zoom

    Mental health is often seen as mutually exclusive to performance. This could not be further from the truth. The current workshop approaches such myths, provides an understanding of the mental health continuum, mental health statistics and risk/ protective factors for athletes and coaches. The basics of mental health literacy are provided which include signs and symptoms of common mental health disorders, barriers to help seeking, and where to get help within New Zealand. Additionally, some practical skills as how to communicate/ approach an athlete (or colleague) who you may suspect is struggling with mental ill health, and help support them at that time of distress.

  • CRNZ Coaches Conference
    Saturday 4th/Sunday 5th November 2023- Auckland 
    Further information 


  • Basics of Periodization – Macro to micro cycles – with Mathew Mildenhall
    Wednesday 22nd November, 7.30-8.30pm- Delivered via Zoom. 
    In this workshop Mathew will continue the discussion of the physiological demands of sprint kayaking and the application of these to training. During this session Mathew will give an overview of how you can develop a periodized program including macro to micro cycles.

  • Mental Skills and Race Profiles – with Dom Vettise
    Thursday 14th December, 7.30-8.30pm – Delivered via Zoom
    Mental skills and sport psychology can account for up to 80% of an athletes overall performance. The current workshop covers the basic mental skills, such and goal setting, breathing techniques and visualisation (to name a few), why and when to use them, as well as how to incorporate them in to training and mental preparation structures. Additionally, the workshop will focus on mindset (attitude) and how to add this into a paddlers race profile to help the athlete and coach better understand how mentality fits into their race plan. 

Presenter Profiles:

Dom Vettise is a clinical and sport psychologist who works with many top sports teams in New Zealand including recent Tokyo Olympic gold medallists the Black Ferns 7s.  He is the sport psychologist for New Zealand Football, Canoe Racing New Zealand and several other individual New Zealand Olympians. Dom has a history working in Forensics and Corrections and currently operates his own private mental health clinic.  He is interested in how identity and mental skills shape high performance both in individuals and team environments.

Mathew Mildenhall  is a Performance Physiologist and Performance Technique Analyst (MSpEx) working for High Performance Sport NZ. 

Try Learn Explore Coach Workshops

The Try Learn Explore Coach Workshop is aimed at developing the skills, confidence and experience required by coaches to provide beginner level paddlers with safe and positive paddling experiences. This workshop is a prerequisite to achieving the Try Learn Explore Coach Award, which qualifies a coach to lead delivery the TLE programs.

The 2-day practical course includes both classroom and on-water sessions, and should provide participants with information and skills around how to effectively coach Try, Learn and Explore sessions, how to create a safe environment and teach basic paddling fundamentals, and learn simple rescue techniques and practices.

Course outline

Upcoming workshops:

  • 9/10 September, Auckland (North Shore Canoe Club)
  • 7/8 October, Wellington

Click here to register to attend an upcoming workshop or to register your interest in having a TLE coach workshop for your club/region.

For further information, contact Danika Mowlem, CRNZ Participation Lead.

PaddleAble Disability Inclusion Education

CRNZ in collaboration with Halberg Foundation have developed the PaddleAble Disability Inclusion Education.

This workshop has been developed to provide information, insights and ideas that will assist coaches, clubs and paddling providers to understand, engage and empower disabled paddlers to ensure they have positive paddling experiences. It is made up of two parts- part one is delivered online via zoom and part 2 is a practical, in-person session.

The course is suitable if you are already coaching, volunteering, supporting participants with disabilities or are wanting to develop a more supportive disability inclusive club/paddling provider environment. The workshop is interactive and offers opportunities to network, reflect and give/receive feedback. This is an open workshop and we would encourage anyone working with paddlers from canoe sprint, marathon, ocean ski, surf lifesaving and multisport to attend.

Upcoming workshops
  • PaddleAble Education (part 1) – Wednesday 7th June, 7.30-8.30pm, Delivered via Zoom
  • PaddleAble Education (part 2) – Saturday 10th June,  Hawkes Bay Kayak Racing Club
  • PaddleAble Education (part 1) – Tuesday 20th June, 7.30-8.30pm, Delivered via Zoom
  • PaddleAble Education (part 2) – Saturday 24th June,  Arawa Canoe Club,Christchurch
  • PaddleAble Education (part 1) – Tuesday 29th August, 7.30-8.30pm, Delivered via Zoom
  • PaddleAble Education –  For Officials – Tuesday 12th September, 7.30-8.30pm, Delivered via Zoom
  • PaddleAble Education (part 1) – Wednesday 11th October, 7.30-8.30pm, Delivered via Zoom
  • PaddleAble Education (part 2) – Sunday 15th October, 10am-12pm, Wellington (venue TBC)
  • PaddleAble Education (part 1) – Tuesday 17th October, 7.30-8.30pm, Delivered via Zoom
  • PaddleAble Education (part 2) – Thursday 19th October, 4pm-6pm, North Shore Canoe Club, Auckland

Register here to attend one of the above workshops or if you wish to have one in your club/region.

Technique Development Workshops

These technical workshops are aimed at coaches who want to further develop their technical understanding of kayak paddling. The workshops will cover the physics and biomechanical principles that make up kayak paddling technique. The workshops are interactive and offers opportunities to network, reflect and give/receive feedback.

This is an open workshop and we would encourage any coaches working with athletes from canoe sprint, marathon, ocean ski, surf lifesaving and multisport to attend.

 Upcoming Workshops: 

There are no upcoming workshops

Register here if you wish to have one of these workshops in your club/region.

CRNZ Coach Awards

Try Learn Explore Coach

The Try Learn Explore Coach Award recognises coaches who have the achieved the skills and experience required to coach the Try Learn Explore participant programs (beginner level paddlers). These coaches will have demonstrated they possess the knowledge and ability to safely and effectively deliver Try Learn Explore as a lead coach.

TLE coaches understand the needs of participants who are new to paddling (both children and adults) and are able to develop a supportive and inclusive environment while keeping fun, play and enjoyment at the heart of the participant experience. TLE coaches are able to promote positive and safe sporting experiences while teaching fundamental paddle skills.

Learn more about becoming a Try Learn Explore Coach


Development Coach

Development coaches should understand the motivations of their participants and in particular foster a supportive and inclusive environment. They must be able to establish effective relationship and have a sound understanding of the fundamentals of technique, program design and athlete development. These coaches must recognise that paddlers have different ambitions and needs and must be able to motivate and support participants to pursue their own goals.

Development Coach award coming soon