Athlete Pathway

Canoe Racing New Zealand (CRNZ) has a rich history winning multiple Olympic and World Championship Medals. Not only do we want to continue this success, but we want to develop a sustainable high performance environment that consistently produces podium winning athletes. 

We have a clear vision: TO BE THE WORLD’S BEST PADDLING NATION 

To achieve our vision we must have in place a strong high performance system with a clear athlete pathway. A structured athlete pathway enables us to identify, track and support athletes as they transition from club paddler to podium performer. 

WHAT IS A PERFORMANCE PATHWAY?

A Performance Pathway is a framework that describes the typical stages of athlete development from an aspiring athlete to an elite performer, along with the standards, competencies, opportunities and expectations characteristic of each stage.

WHY DO WE NEED A PERFORMANCE PATHWAY?

A structured athlete pathway enables CRNZ to identify, track and support athletes, ensuring they are in the right environment, receiving the right support, at the right time. The CRNZ High Performance Athlete Pathway aims to maximise the opportunity for each individual to achieve their full potential.


An effective athlete pathway will result in more athletes, of a higher quality, who are better prepared to transition into a full time high performance environment and achieve World Class results.

CRNZ HIGH PERFORMANCE PATHWAY PROGRAMS

Based on the characteristics, needs, and considerations specific to each stage of development, CRNZ has designed corresponding Performance Pathway Programs.

From Foundation to Elite, the standards, provisions, commitment and expectations of the CRNZ Performance Pathway Programs progressively increase. As performances improve, so too does the level of involvement, the opportunities available, and level of support provided.

Consideration and program selection typically occurs bi-annually following the New Zealand National Championships and the National Performance Assessment. Athletes will be assessed and invited to join the appropriate Performance Pathway Program. Ongoing involvement in Performance Pathway Program and transition opportunities will be assessed via regular performance planning and monitoring processes. 

CRNZ strives to take a holistic approach to develop well rounded individuals that are not only strong on the water, but also off the water, capable of making world class performance decisions, and displaying world class athletic behaviours. As such, CRNZ facilitates Performance Pathway Programs address not only race performance, but also key competencies in the areas of technique, psychology, nutrition, and athlete life.

HOW WAS THE CRNZ PERFORMANCE PATHWAY FORMULATED?

The CRNZ Performance Pathway was created by tracing historical race results and performance trajectories in combination with athlete development theory. A range of contributors including CRNZ High Performance Coaches, Pathway Coaches, and talent development specialists were involved in the documentation of the Performance Pathway and design of associated Performance Pathway Programs. 

While the Pathway may be strongly evidenced based, we still have a lot to learn about athlete development and support. Over time, as we discover new insights, the CRNZ Performance Pathway and our Performance Pathway Programs will evolve and adapt. Therefore, the Performance Pathway will be regularly reviewed and updated. Key areas identified for incorporation into the Performance Pathway in the future include National Assessment Protocols incorporating multidimensional athlete profiling and competency based training guidelines. 

AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE CRNZ PERFORMANCE PATHWAY

It is important to highlight that the Performance Pathway Overview is simply a guide describing the typical athlete and usual characteristics at each stage of the Pathway. From time to time, there may be some flexibility in program selections, support and expectations to accommodate athletes whose circumstances may be slightly different to the norm, or who follow an atypical entry and/or progression in our sport. We acknowledge that some athletes develop earlier than others, some athletes progress faster than others, and some athletes don’t even come into canoe racing until a later age. We also discourage early specialisation and encourage athletes to participate in a range of sports to develop transferable skills/ knowledge while they are young. The CRNZ Performance Pathway may not describe the performance journey with perfect accuracy for all athletes, however, it does provide a general indication of the CRNZ Performance System and associated opportunities and expectations for the majority.  

PERFORMANCE PATHWAY COACH DEVELOPMENT

CRNZ is also committed to high quality coaching and coach development. In alignment with the Performance Pathway, CRNZ offers coaches of athletes that have been selected into the Performance Pathway a range of development opportunities. The program provides multiple learning opportunities such as workshops, HP immersion, camps, observations and mentoring.  Coaches are encouraged to lead their learning and develop their own Individual Development Plans. 

FURTHER INFORMATION

For more information on the CRNZ Performance Pathway you may wish to download the CRNZ Performance Pathway. A detailed Athlete Pathway Handbook will be provided to all athletes upon selection to a CRNZ Performance Pathway Programs, containing all necessary information relevant to their involvement. Please direct any further enquiries via email to aaron.osborne@canoeracing.org.nz

For more information: CRNZ Performance Pathway