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When a black singlet
rounds into the home straight in medal contention,
the crowd erupts and a country holds its breath!

Our vision is see that this continues, by providing world leading support for distance athletes and coaches, in their development towards the delivery of podium performances.

Event group strategic plan

Strategic approach

distance event group philosophy

Guiding principles and beliefs:

  1. Prioritising coaches – Supporting a network of coaches to develop ‘squads’ of athletes, as a breeding ground for future high performance.
  2. Long term athlete development – Young athletes specialising late, developing general athleticism and performance behaviours, via a range of experiences.
  3. Individualised support – Assisting athletes to transition out of key developmental stages, and into appropriate high-performance pathways, at the appropriate time. 
  4. High Performance Planning - Facilitating an ongoing planning process for assisting athletes and coaches to access the resources required to deliver their best performance at major championships. 


Athletics NZ Emerging Talent Camps

  • Hanmer Emerging Talent Camp 9-11 October 2019

The purpose of this camp is to provide a collaborative training opportunity for athletes and coaches to develop essential foundations required for long-term distance success.

  • Athletes aged 15-18. 
  • Coach workshop programme runs in conjunction with the camp, with separate coaches-only sessions each day.  
  • Spaces are limited with priority given for athletes whose coaches attend.
  • Support is available for ANZ-HP programme athletes, and ANZ registered coaches.

Registration link -

Contact details

Steve Willis - Distance event group lead

Maria Hassan - HP Distance Coach


Distance Testing Workshops 

  • Auckland (Millennium, AUT) - April 15-16, 2019
  • Auckland (Millennium, AUT) - April Dates TBC, 2020

This is an opportunity for carded, PPS, P2P and selected ‘on the radar’ distance athletes to access physiological and other testing, designed to identify various aerobic and speed/power characteristics, which may help to inform aspects such as event choice and training approach going forward .

Day one includes specific testing including:

  • VO2max / Lactate threshold
  • Peak Speed assessment with Radar technology
  • Jump and reactive strength measures
  • Video Analysis of running mechanics – stride lengths and frequency details

Day two includes specific workshops designed to improve speed, power and mechanics

  • Strength, posture and positions
  • Stiffness and ground contact
  • Functional drills

Follow up communication is an opportunity for athletes and coaches to discuss their data in comparison to an international data set, identify potential work-ons, and for knowledge sharing of recognised training approaches. This information may then be used to inform planning moving forward.

For further information, please contact 

support - for HP athletes

Campaign Planning Support
Assist established programme athletes (carded and PPS) and their teams, develop and implement campaign planning and case management processes, designed to maximise the likelihood of delivering best performances at major championships.

Performance Training Environments (PTE)
Facilitating access to PTE’s including:

  • ANZ-DEG offshore base – (Cyprus heat camp, July 2019)
  • International training group immersion and camps - Partnerships with identified offshore coaches to assist NZ distance athletes to access quality offshore PTE’s.
  • Domestic training group immersion and camps – Support for NZ’s high performance distance athletes and selected emerging athletes, to train collaboratively for key blocks, in preparation for the 2018 and 2019 international season.  
For further information please contact

support for developing athletes

Planning Support
Working with HPAD to assist emerging programme athletes (P2P) and their teams, develop planning processes designed to maximise the likelihood of becoming an international level high performance distance athlete.

RED-S Programme
Continued development of the Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) issue to raise awareness, early recognition, prevention strategies and providing support for RED-s athletes

  • Education and support for RED-s athletes and their coaches
  • RED-s road show 2019 - Support and monitoring for athletes overcoming complications from RED’s
  • For additional support and information on REDs please contact

Staying connected (NCAA) 
Targeted advice and support for the following athletes:

  • Year 13’s contemplating NCAA pathway
  • MOU’s with key NCAA programmes
  • Communication strategy with those currently on scholarship
  • Specific support for post collegiate integration back into the ANZ-HP programme (see HP)

NZ Domestic season MD competition development
Provide opportunities for high level domestic distance competition.

  • NZ Distance Carnival ~ February 16, Mt Smart Stadium. (under lights)  
  • Event grid strategy meeting June 12, 2018.
    Discussions with ANZ staff and meet directors to review and align the current domestic competition calendar, including investigating the viability of a centralised entry system via ANZ website with viewable online entry lists

For further information please contact

Copyright 2019 by Athletics New Zealand |