News & Updates

19 October 2023 • Coaching

Nuree embraces women’s coaching initiative

Nuree Greenhalgh (in the grey jumper) has found the Te Hāpaitanga coaching initiative a hugely fulfilling experience.

Nuree Greenhalgh believes being a part of the High Performance Sport NZ Te Hāpaitanga coach development initiative has been a transformative experience which will allow the Auckland-based sprints coach to much better pursue her future aspirations.

The 18-month course offers a range of opportunities for a group of female potential high-performance coaches to test and develop their coaching capability and develop new skills in the challenging world of high-performance sport.

Approximately halfway through the initiative, Nuree admits the course has pushed her outside of her comfort zone, but she has picked up a wealth of knowledge that will leave her better equipped to take the next steps in her coaching journey.

“The learnings I’ve had so far on the initiative as a person and as a coach have been unbelievable,” she says. “I thought I knew everything about myself, but the course has proved very reflective. I feel like I have been slowly stripping various layers down and learning who I am, what I want to change and how I am going to do that to become an elite coach. Essentially, I feel like the journey is helping me to add those layers to be more confident in my pathway to high-performance coaching.

“Sometimes as female coaches, we can doubt ourselves alongside our male counterparts. Through all my Te Hāpaitanga learnings, experiences and reflections, I have learnt to believe in myself. I am more self-assured and trust myself.”

Affiliated to Waitakere AC in West Auckland, Nuree took up athletics coaching just four years ago but she has already enjoyed much success leading multiple young athletes to national sprints and hurdles medals. 

Currently coaching a group of around 14 athletes led by New Zealand senior men’s 400m champion Lex Revell-Lewis and supported by New Zealand U18 400m champion Kahurangi Cotterill, national U20 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles champion Grace Wisnewski and New Zealand U18 100m silver medallist Kadin Taylor, Nuree is one of New Zealand’s most promising, emerging coaches. 

However, she was both shocked and flattered when Athletics NZ High-Performance Coaching Manager Kirsten Hellier approached Nuree to apply for Te Hāpaitanga.

“When Kirsten rang me to say Athletics New Zealand were looking at developing me further and suggested I apply for the course, I saw it as an incredible opportunity,” she adds. “It was quite a big process to be selected as we had to do an initial application and then undergo an interview process. To be selected as one of only 12 women from a range of sports for Te Hāpaitanga and the only one from athletics was amazing.”

Undergoing a series of residentials across the 18-month course, Nuree admits the initiative has served multiple benefits. She has forged a close relationship with the other coaches and a close connection with the mentors (Kirsten Hellier is her NSO mentor, and Melodie Bosman her Te Hāpaitanga mentor) and the course lead – Jody Cameron, who has “been very good at nurturing us and allowing us to step into the high-performance setting through self-awareness and residentials that are concise and relevant to the challenges we face.”

The first residential exposed Nuree to finding out much about herself as a coach and a person, while another, which took place on the Kapiti Coast, involved working with horses in order to gain a greater understanding about coaching, reflection, boundaries and striving to be more successful.

“At first, I thought, what the heck will a horse teach us about coaching? But I got so much out of the course, it was ridiculous. A lot of the learnings were quite personal. I learnt about personal space and setting boundaries. I also learned how to be more firm and consistent with my instructions. Our days were broken up with working with the horses, followed by video analysis of our coaching.  We spent a lot of time reflecting on what went well, what didn’t go so well and what needs working on to move forward successfully.  We were then put back into the arena with our horse to improve the delivery of our coaching.”

In her next residential, she and her fellow coaches on the initiative will climb 1800m to the Mueller Hut in the Aorangi/Mount Cook National Park – the purpose of which is to understand more about the flow and efficiency state of athletes. 

“I’m actually quite scared of heights, so the climb will be difficult but I’m looking forward to the challenge,” she says. “As coaches, we sometimes have to ask things of their athletes that make them uncomfortable, but they have to trust in the coach to guide them through this process and this residential will help me have a better understanding of this.”

Also undertaking the Core Knowledge programme as part of the initiative – which involves Body in Motion, Coaching Impact, Professional Practice and Energy Systems– Nuree hopes and believes she will be much better prepared for the demands of being a high-performance coach when the course is wrapped up next July.

“I wasn’t sure at first whether high performance coaching was for me, but I definitely feel ready now to make the next step,” she says. “I would 100 per cent recommend other coaches looking to take that next step to experience the course. You have to be willing to be exposed and reflect about yourself as a coach, but it is well worth it in the long run.” 

***To find out more about Te Hāpaitanga go here