By Kent Gray/ 
Tri NZ has taken another important step toward Paris 2024 and major events beyond the XXXIII Olympiad after assembling its high-performance squad for a two-day strategic planning session. 

The ‘Cambridge Performance Summit’ saw athletes agree on Individual Performance Plans for 2023 with Tri NZ’s High-Performance team as well as engaging in the rollout of a new well-being framework. Drug Free Sport NZ also outlined its new anti-doping code. 

It was the first time many of the athletes had met new Tri NZ CEO Pete de Wet, new HP General Manager Travis White and HP Operations Manager Peter Kadar. The Tri NZ board, headed by President Natalie Smith, also sat in on the opening session with the athletes before breaking away for their scheduled end-of-year board meeting.  

Hayden Wilde (who has remained in Europe), Tayler Reid and Nicole van der Kaay have been looped into the summit content virtually after only just completing demanding European campaigns.  

De Wet is encouraged by the green shoots of a new team culture taking root at the key end-of-year collaboration which also featured a number of the athlete’s personal coaches. 

“This has been a year of considerable change for Tri NZ and the time in Cambridge gave the new staff an opportunity to meet with and get to know a number of our Tier 1, 2 and 3 athletes,” he said.  

“It was also an opportunity to share the wellbeing framework that has been developed and how this, along with the recommendations, will be rolled out from 2023 onwards. 

“From a personal perspective, it was great to meet some of our athletes for the first time and share with them, not only my early observations but also my vision for the future.” 

Back row (left to right): Eva Goodison, Hannah Howell, Saxon Morgan, Lachlan Haycock, Janus Staufenberg, James Corbett, Austin Carter, Trent Thorpe. Front row (left to right): Hannah Knighton, Ainsley Thorpe, Brea Roderick, Olivia Thornbury, Sophie Spencer, Dylan McCullough.

The immediate future is focused on a bumper calendar of Continental Cup and Championship events before New Zealand’s much-anticipated return to World Triathlon’s World Cup circuit.  

The 2023 Kiwi Summer of Tri starts with Oceania Cup sprints in Wanaka (Feb.17) and Taupo (Feb 25), with the latter also hosting the Oceania Mixed Relay Championship on Feb. 26. 

New Plymouth’s return to the World Cup circuit on March 26 is the key date of the Kiwi summer while many of the Tri NZ squad will compete in important Australian races: the Oceania Sprint Distance Championship in Devonport on March 18; World Cup Busselton on April 29-30 and the Oceania Standard Distance Championship in Port Douglas on May 27.  

Many of the squad are expected to head to Europe directly from Port Douglas with Tri NZ’s Northern Hemisphere training base in Banyoles, Spain opening on May 29. A full schedule of World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) and World Cups are scheduled with the Aug. 17-20 Olympic Games Test Event in Paris a key target. 

“Next year promises to be a big year so this was the perfect way to round out 2022 and start to look ahead to some of the important planning going into 2023,” de Wet said. 

“We can’t wait to showcase our sport and the talented young Kiwis spearheading the charge in Wanaka, Taupo and New Plymouth, alongside our important series of Suzuki NZ National Championship events.

“It’s going to be a cracking Kiwi Summer of Tri and we’re planning to ensure success beyond our shores later in 2023 as we look to the Paris Games and beyond.” 

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