Athlete Wellbeing & Member Welfare

Athletics New Zealand is committed to providing a safe environment and supporting the mental and physical wellbeing of everyone who participates in our sport. We are guided by rules and regulations, which are always evolving to meet the needs of members. We place the highest value on the thousands of people around the country who facilitate our sport, and have memberships for coaches, officials and volunteers, so athletes and their families can feel confident in those around them.

Below you will find more information about the different ways we work to support the wellbeing of our athletes and the coaches, volunteers and officials who are the back-bone of our athletics in New Zealand. 

  • Coaches, Volunteers and Officials
  • Regulations
  • Member Advocacy
  • Athlete Wellbeing

Coaches, Volunteers and Officials

The importance of the role of volunteers in facilitating a fun, safe and inclusive environment for participation in our sport cannot be understated. We have established membership options for athletics coaches, officials and other volunteers, which help to provide a safe environment for both athletes and the volunteers themselves.

Coach and Volunteer Membership

Find out more about coach and volunteer membership below. To register as an Accredited Coach member, Community Coach member or Community Volunteer member, please click here

We recommend all athletics members engage with or utilise coaches who hold Athletics NZ Accredited Coach or Community Coach membership. A list of current Accredited and Community Coaches can be found in the relevant sections below. 

Accredited Coach Membership

For established coaches who have been coaching athletics for at least three years, and/or have received education or attended training relevant to athletics event coaching. 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

Open to anyone who coaches within our sport. This includes those who are new on their coaching journey, but also club coaches, parent coaches and Foundation Programme coaches. Community 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

Officials

Officials make local, regional and national events possible for athletics athletes of all ages. They are essential to the operation of our sport. 

Officials at our national events are Police Vetted and undertake Child Safety education. They also sign and agree to abide by the Athletics NZ Code of Conduct. There are ongoing officials education opportunities available as well. 

Find out more about becoming an Official here

Regulations

Athletics New Zealand is an incorporated society that is governed by a set of rules, regulations and policies. We welcome member input on these and provide opportunities for feedback. A full list of these policies can be found in the Governance section of this website, but the following regulations are particularly relevant to member welfare.

Member Protection and Anti-Harassment Regulation 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. It also 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.

A copy of this regulation can be found here

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

Athletics NZ Safe Sport Guidelines have been developed to support team managers and other team volunteers travelling on club teams with young people and children, to provide a safe and positive training environment. Can be found here

Member Advocacy

Members’ Advocate

The Members’ Advocate provides a voice for all Athletics NZ members. They are available for any member to talk to about 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 craig@stuarts.co.nz 

More information on the Members’ Advocate can be found here

High Performance Athletes’ Commission

The Athletes’ Commission, made up of current and recent high performance athletes, provides a mechanism for the views of high performance athletes to be heard, and helps to ensure athlete wellbeing is appropriately considered by Athletics New Zealand. The current Athletes’ Commission members: Dame Valerie Adams (chair), Sarah Cowley Ross, Jessica Gillan, Julian Matthews, Eliza McCartney, Julia Ratcliffe, Quentin Rew and Tom Walsh.

Athlete Wellbeing

Relative Energy Deficiency in Sports (RED-S) Education

Unfortunately, there is a history of RED-S affecting athletes in our sport, so parent, athlete and coach awareness of RED-S is an important area of focus for Athletics NZ. RED-S 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. Click here for an introductory article on RED-S, and links to further material.

Wellbeing support for High Performance athletes

We have a holistic wellbeing programme, that is tailored to suit athletes’ individual needs through consultation with their Athlete Life Advisor. This includes access to qualified psychologists who athletes can approach at any time for confidential mental health, wellbeing, relationship or performance support. We work together with High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) to deliver this programme. More information on the support available to our high performance athletes can be found here.

 

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