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The Pathway to Podium programme (P2P) is a High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) and Sport New Zealand development initiative aimed at athletes who are deemed 1-3 years from entering the high performance system. The selection is dependent on the individual National Sporting Organisation's (NSO's) athlete development pathways across the 14 sporting codes, as selection differs between sports. Athletes selected are athletes who are deemed to become high performing athletes competing competitively on the world stage.

Pathway to Podium is a nationwide talent development programme helping emerging athletes (usually in their late teens) and coaches be better prepared for the demands of life in a high performance sport.

Waikato Pathway to Podium is led by Sport Waikato, and is part of the national Pathway to Podium programme that has been established by High Performance Sport New Zealand and Sport New Zealand. The programme relies on the support of local organisations to provide services to the athletes that are specific to their developmental needs. 

This is an exciting opportunity for the Waikato region to provide support to talented athletes & coaches that are constantly produced from our top class facilities, knowledgeable sports minded people and loyal funders.  This support will better prepare them towards entering the High Performance Sport System.

What's the programme about?

  • Making the pathway to high performance sport clearer for pre-elite athletes and their coaches
  • Getting support around potential medal winners early on, to give them the best shot at future success
  • Through regional hubs, providing nationwide access to facilities and training as close as possible to their homes, families and peer support, until they're ready to enter the formal high performance system
  • Providing support and guidance in areas such as performance planning, training regimes, mental skills training, strength and conditioning, and nutrition.

"Pathway to Podium bring high performance support to local kids in their communities. There's no one place in New Zealand where talent springs from. Talent is everywhere and so no matter where an athlete is from, they'll be given support at a stage in their development that can really help them gain their entry ticket to one day competing for New Zealand on the world stage."

- Peter Miskimmon, Sport New Zealand Chief Executive

What are the programme's goals?

Pathway to Podium is about helping more Kiwis to win on the world's sporting stage. The goal is for some of the programme participants to win medals at Olympic/Paralympic Games or at world championships, usually around 8-10 years after starting their Pathway to Podium journey. 

"The long term development of our athletes is central to their success on the world stage. I am incredibly privileged to support and strengthen the pathway for our Waikato athletes transitioning into high performance"

- Daniella Meier, Waikato Pathway to Podium talent hub manager and former New Zealand Snow Ski Racer and performance coach

About 350 pre-elite athletes and 150 coaches from throughout New Zealand are selected to participate each year.

Who's running the programme?

Pathway to Podium is run in partnership between Sport New Zealand, High Performance Sport New Zealand and 14 regional talent hubs around the country.

How do I apply for/join the programme?

Pathway to Podium isn't open to applications. Instead, emerging athletes and coaches are selected to join the programme each year. Selection occurs around April/May and is done by national sporting organisations (NSOs), such as Rowing New Zealand.