Member Welfare

Athletics New Zealand works to ensure a safe environment for everyone in our sport, particularly children, young people and vulnerable adults.

Coach and Volunteer Membership

The beating heart of our sport is the 2,000-plus volunteers who set up, pack down, sit on committees, coach and support our athletes and much, much more.

Volunteering not only keeps our sport driving forward, it is a rewarding and energising experience.

However, volunteers also have an important role to play in ensuring we provide a safe environment for children, young people, and vulnerable adults in our sport.

See below for some membership options which are designed for coaches and volunteers in our sport.

  • Accredited Coach Membership

The Athletics NZ Accredited Coach provides a level of quality assurance into our coaching framework to continue to meet the needs of participants within our sport. Accredited Coaches are Police Vetted, undertake Child Safety education, and Drug Free Sport NZ Education. They also sign and agree to abide by the Athletics NZ Code of Conduct.

A list of current Accredited Coaches can be found here

  • Community Coach Membership

Athletics NZ Community Coach Membership is open to anyone who coaches within our sport. This includes Foundation Programme coaches, club coaches and parent coaches. Coaches are Police Vetted, undertake Child Safety education, and Drug Free Sport NZ Education. They also sign and agree to abide by the Athletics NZ Code of Conduct.

A list of current Community Coaches can be found here

  • Community Volunteer Membership

This membership is compulsory for centre team managers to national events, and highly recommended for other administrators who have regular interaction with children. Community Volunteer Members are Police Vetted, undertake some Child Safety education, as well as sign and agree to abide by the Athletics NZ Code of Conduct.

A list of current Community Volunteer Members can be found here

As of February 2021, Athletics NZ recommends to all athletics members to preferentially engage with or utilise coaches who hold Athletics NZ Accredited Coach Membership or Community Coach Membership. We believe this is an important next step in ensuring we are doing all that is practical to promote the safety of our members.

To register as an Accredited Coach Member, Community Coach Member or Community Volunteer Member, please click here.

Relevant Regulations

Athletics New Zealand is an incorporated society that is governed by a set of rules (constitution), regulations and policies. A full list of these policies can be found in the Governance section of this website, but some regulations are particularly relevant to member protection and can be found linked directly below.

Member Protection and Anti-Harassment Regulation

The purpose of this Member Protection and Anti-Harassment Regulation is to set out Athletics NZ’s commitment to ensuring that every person participating in athletics is treated with respect and dignity and is protected from discrimination, harassment and abuse.

In particular, this regulation seeks to safeguard the welfare of children involved in athletics by promoting safe practices and protecting children from harm and exploitation while participating in athletics.

It sets out Athletics NZ’s commitment to providing an environment in which people are treated fairly and equitably and that, as far as practicable, are free from all forms of discrimination and harassment.

A copy of this regulation can be found here

Members’ Advocate 

The Members’ Advocate provides a voice for all Athletics NZ members.

It is a Board-appointed role that acts as a point of reference when a member of Athletics NZ wishes to raise a matter they feel has not been fully considered or resolved by Athletics NZ staff and/or is of a confidential or personal nature that would benefit from disclosure to a person independent from the day-to-day operations of Athletics NZ.

The Members’ Advocate is currently Craig Purdy and he can be contacted at 

For more information please click here

Athletics NZ Athletes’ Commission

The Athletics NZ Athletes’ Commission is a consultative body made up of current and recent high performance athletes.

The primary aims of the Athletics NZ Athletes’ Commission are to: 

  1. Provide a mechanism for the views of high performance athletes to be heard by Athletics NZ; and
  2. Help ensure that integrity and athlete wellbeing are appropriately considered by Athletics NZ.

Dame Valerie Adams (Deputy Chair of the World Athletics Athletes’ Commission and Chair of the Oceania Athletics Athletes’ Commission) and Sarah Cowley Ross (Chair of the NZOC Athletes’ Commission) serve on the Athletics NZ Athletes’ Commission, with Dame Valerie acting as Chair and Sarah as Deputy Chair.

The other members of the Athletics NZ Athletes’ Commission are: Jessica Gillan (formerly Hamill), Julian Matthews, Eliza McCartney, Julia Ratcliffe, Quentin Rew and Tom Walsh.

Athletics NZ Code of Conduct

The Athletics NZ Code of Conduct sets out expected behaviours for all Athletics NZ representatives and members, including athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers.

A copy of the Code of Conduct can be found here

Relative Energy Deficiency in Sports (RED-S) Education

RED-S is a state of athlete health where the functioning of multiple body systems and functions are impaired. It is caused by a mismatch between energy intake from diet and the energy used in exercise.

When there is insufficient energy available, the body is unable to perform all its functions, resulting in a range of health and performance consequences. This energy mismatch is known as “low energy availability (LEA)” and underpins the syndrome of RED-S.

RED-S may have serious short- and long-term health consequences, including reduced:

  • Bone health
  • Menstrual cycle function
  • Energy metabolism
  • Infection resistance
  • Protein synthesis
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Psychological health

Unfortunately, there is a history of RED-S affecting athletes in our sport, so parent, athlete and coach awareness of RED-S is a major focus for Athletics NZ.

Click here for an introductory article on RED-S, and links to further material.