• Travis White appointed Tri NZ High Performance GM
• White succeeds Hamish Carter who stood down as HP Director in August
• Athlete welfare key focus for 2024 Paris Olympics and beyond
Winning at ‘all costs’ won’t happen on Travis White’s watch
Triathlon New Zealand’s new General Manager of High Performance has identified “winning while doing no harm” as a key focus as he looks to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games and beyond.
Whangaparaoa father-of-six Travis White has been unveiled as Hamish Carter’s successor after the 2004 Olympic champion stood down in August following four successful years as Tri NZ’s HP Director.
White, 43, joins Tri NZ after spending the past 10 years at High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) where he served as HP Investment Support Manager, leading the investment and support programmes for National Sports Organisations (NSOs), athletes and coaches.
He previously worked as High Performance Director for Softball New Zealand and was part of the performance support team for the New Zealand delegation at the 2017 World University Games.
White managed the Government funding process, the Tailored Athlete Pathway Support (TAPS) programme and Prime Ministers Scholarships at HPSNZ and is excited to bring that critical strategy and policy expertise to Tri NZ.
He won’t have to travel far to do so; Tri NZ is headquartered just two floors below HPSNZ at AUT Millennium on Auckland’s North Shore.
“With Hamish you obviously got an incredible tri guy, in me you’ve got someone who has been in the system for 10 years…I’m super excited to get stuck in,” said White.
“My role initially targets the strategic intent of the HP programmes and will then become a bit more operational as I learn the sport and what HP investment and support it needs. I’ll lean on Tri NZ’s subject-matter experts as I learn that and then it’s my role to link it all together.
“In the short to medium term I want to look back post Paris and say we got the performances we intended to achieve, we got an alignment with coaching and coaches, which is not to say that isn’t already the case, and that we got athletes and support staff feeling engaged and supported by the high performance programme.”
Athlete well-being has become a key touchstone across the sporting landscape and will be a critical KPI that White measures the Tri NZ High Performance programme against.
“It’s about winning while doing no harm, not about winning at all costs. That’s not to say that is the case at Tri NZ but it is another layer we’ve got to consider to make sure we’re doing things in the right way,” White said.
“Significant [HPSNZ] funding is being put into athlete well-being and each individual sport can put their own structures in place. There is no silver bullet but as long as we are giving time and attention to it, we’ll be going the right way.“
White earned a Masters of Management from Massey University and also boasts Bachelor of Physical Education and Commerce degrees from Otago University. He played rugby throughout his varsity days in Dunedin and represented Hill City Athletics Club, reaching 200m national finals level as a contemporary of Olympian Chris Donaldson and 2002 Commonwealth Games representative Dallas Roberts.
Nowadays CrossFit, a busy family life and an 18-month old Rottweiler keep him in shape outside of work.
Tri NZ Chief Executive Pete De Wet is looking forward to White’s contribution.
“I am excited to welcome Travis to Triathlon New Zealand at such an exciting time for our sport,” said De Wet.
“The recruitment process, managed by Global Elite Sports, drew candidates from all over the world, and throughout the process, Travis was able to clearly demonstrate not only his deep understanding of high performance sport in New Zealand, but also his strength in HP strategy and policy.
“Travis’s work at HPSNZ had seen him work directly with a number of sports across New Zealand, and he brings with him the great ability to build strong and trusted relationships. He will add immense value into our HP system, and ably lead this space, supported by the team already in place.
“I am looking forward to working with Travis, as we continue to build towards Paris, and beyond.”
White will begin his new role in early November.