Joe Payton appointed HPSNZ Regional Pathways Lead for Hawke’s Bay

Joe Payton

Hawke’s Bay athletes with the potential to win on the world stage now have a greater chance of success with High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) investing in a key regional role.

Joe Payton has been appointed High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) Regional Pathways Lead for the Hawke’s Bay region to work collaboratively with national, regional and community sporting partners to identify and support athletes and coaches who have the potential for success on the world sporting stage.

Joe joins the HPSNZ Performance Pathways team, who work across New Zealand to help refine and enhance performance pathways in partnership with local athletes, coaches and sport codes.

He will have a dual role, continuing his work with the Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust as the manager of Sport & Health Performance.

Performance Pathways are the anchor of HPSNZ’s 2024 Strategy, and fundamental to continuing New Zealand’s record of success on the world stage by creating a sustainable pipeline of talent.

HPSNZ Head of Performance Pathways Tracey Paterson says having the experience of Joe on the ground in Hawke’s Bay will ensure more athletes across a broader range of sports have greater access to pathways to success.

“Joe has a wealth of experience in talent development coupled with strong sporting relationships and high standing in the local sports community, so we’re delighted to have him take on this HPSNZ role in Hawke’s Bay. Having Joe on the team will really help us deliver on our vision of enhanced performance pathways, supporting regionally based coaches and athletes with future performance aspirations in the Hawke’s Bay region.”

Joe says he will be looking to identify athletes who are developing and confirming the right attributes, abilities, and motivation for future international success.

“We have always been a hot spot for talent and this is a huge boost for Hawke’s Bay as it now provides a direct link into the high performance system for our athletes and coaches.”

In the role he will look to create relationships with both national and regional sporting partners to enable the holistic development of athletes and their coaches.

Critical to success will be supporting regional sporting partners in the Hawke’s Bay community to deliver quality learning environments that can optimise talent within sport-led Performance Pathways.

Joe says it is also exciting that HPSNZ is looking to not only identify talent for podium sports such as athletics, cycling and rowing but also emerging sports such as surfing.

“Surfing is a great example of a sport that is now an Olympic sport. We can now identify talented surfers and put them on a pathway to success that otherwise was under the radar. They can not only get expert coaching but also other wrap around support that the performance pathway offers. It’s all about facilitating and opening up opportunities.”

HBCFCT Executive Manager David Nancarrow says the presence of High Performance Sport New Zealand is also a major boost in confidence for the Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust team and the “mahi we have been doing with athletes and sport codes both at the EIT Institute of Sport and Health and out in the community.”