High Performance Pathway
Have you been inspired by Kiwi snow sports athletes achieving on the world stage? Read below to understand the 2022-2026 Snow Sports New Zealand High Performance Pathway Selection Criteria.
2022 - 2026 Snow Sports NZ High Performance Pathway - Selection Criteria
NZOC Selection Policy - Milano Cortina 2026 Olympic Winter Games
2022 - 2026 Snow Sports NZ High Performance Pathway
- The goals of the Snow Sports NZ High Performance Pathway align to the Snow Sports NZ High Performance 2030 Strategic Plan – People AND Performance. The selection of athletes to the pathway will not only achieve the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic medal targets but also maintain a strong cohort of athletes in future cycles.
- Athletes identified with the potential to contribute to achieving these goals may be offered selection to the Snow Sports NZ High Performance Pathway.
- All levels in the Snow Sports NZ High Performance Pathway will have access to world-class coaching & performance support both domestically, provided from our centralised base in Wanaka, and internationally. Support will be prioritised based on programme level and based around individual athlete needs as documented in athlete’s Individual Performance Plans (IPP). A combination of local and remote support will be delivered.
- Athletes selected on the Snow Sports NZ High Performance Pathway are eligible to receive Tailored Athlete Pathway Support (TAPS) from High Performance Sport NZ. Snow Sports NZ applies for this support on behalf of the athletes, and if approved by HPSNZ, may include all or a combination of the following:
- Training Grants
- Excellence Grants
- Performance Support
- Insurance cover
The SSNZ High Performance Pathway
- The SSNZ High Performance Pathway has 4 levels.
- Elite Level
- Development Level
- High Performance Development
- National Development
- Athletes will normally only progress upwards. Once National Development level has been attained, failure to achieve the next level within a reasonable timeframe will result in transition out of the programme, unless exceptional circumstances apply.
- Athletes meet the criteria at each level through a combination of demonstrating progression and future performance potential by meeting their agreed upon IPP targets. This progression and potential criteria are further supported by achieving relevant competition results. At the Development level the focus is on enhancing performance potential. At the Elite level, the focus is on maintaining and enhancing performance potential.
Selection Panel and Timings:
- The SSNZ High Performance Selection Panel normally consists of:
- Snow Sports NZ High Performance Director
- Snow Sports NZ Head Coach & Pathway Director (either Park & Pipe or Paralympic)
- One other member, as agreed by the Snow Sports NZ Chief Executive.
- The Selectors shall have the right to make both objective and subjective assessments in making their decisions and to weigh each assessment on a case-by-case basis, without in any way creating any form of precedent relevant to the determination of any later case. Selections to the Snow Sports NZ High Performance Pathway will be reviewed every 6 months during Performance Review meetings (usually April/May and Sept/Oct).
Overarching Selection Criteria
- The Overarching selection criteria used by the selection panel are (in priority order):
- Elite Podium: Currently demonstrating the capability to win in Milano Cortina 2026.
- Elite: Demonstrating the ability to convert current performance into a podium finish in Milano Cortina 2026.
- High Performance Development: Athletes are at the top international level for their age, are world cup eligible (15+), and are tracking towards Top-6 at major events within 4 years. [*]
- National Development: Identified as having the potential to podium at future Winter Olympics / Paralympics based on, performance tracking, performance potential, and competition benchmarking. [**}
* Specific to Park & Pipe, an athlete is normally 18 or under at the end of the calendar year from when selection is awarded for High Performance Development (HPD)
** Specific to Park & Pipe, an athlete is normally 16 or under at the end of the calendar year from when selection is awarded for National Development (ND)
Specific Selection Criteria
- The specific selection criteria used by the selection panel are:
- Progression: A positive commitment and work ethic to enhance or maintain all elements of the Rocketship profile, AND
- Performance Potential: A rising profile of performance compared against the current world’s best and predicted future world’s best, AND
- Result Indicators: Achievement in competition at the specified level.
Athletes are leading the progression of their sport.
Data and performance tracking indicate they are tracking towards winning in Milan 2026.
Gold, or 2+ podiums at major events with a quality depth of field within the previous 12-month period.
Progression indicates that they are likely to progress faster than their competition between now and Milan.
Data and performance tracking indicate they are tracking towards a podium performance in Milan 2026.
1 podium at 2nd tier (800 WSPL/FIS) event and 1 top 6 finish at a major event with a quality depth of field within the previous 12-month period.
High Performance Development
Meeting agreed IPP goals and progression targets within agreed upon timeframes.
Data and performance tracking indicate they are tracking towards a top 6 at major events within four years.
Podium results at FIS/IPC Continental Cup/Junior Worlds, YOG, or IPCAS events
National Development (Potential)
Meeting agreed IPP goals and progression targets within agreed upon timeframes.
· Actively working on their Individual Performance Plan with coaches and SSNZ.
· Experience travelling and competing in the Northern Hemisphere.
· A progressive Rocketship Profile.
· A positive overall impression with the SSNZ coaching and support team.
· Demonstrating coachability through a performance relationship with a coach during SSNZ observed training sessions/competitions.
· Passion for Snowsports & Hunger for Success.
Achieving podiums at National level age-group events in NZ and overseas. Top results for their age at NZ Continental Cups (if eligible).
Other factors Selectors may consider
- In addition to the overarching and specific criteria the selectors may consider the following factors:
- Technical proficiency, level of skill and fitness (as measured by Rocketship Profile scores).
- Any past, current or recurring injury or condition (physical or otherwise) which has may have the potential to inhibit an athlete’s performance.
- Adherence to SSNZ practices, procedures, programmes (including the High Performance programme and the Snow Sports NZ Performance Centre programme) and policies.
- Adherence to contractual obligations (past and current) with SSNZ.
- Findings from consultations with relevant coaches.
- Findings from medical examinations or sport science analysis.
- Ability or willingness to train and compete within the SSNZ High Performance programme at locations and competitions, both within New Zealand and overseas, as required or designated by SSNZ.
- Financial or other constraints or limitations imposed by, or imposed upon, SSNZ.
- In considering the Results Indictors selectors may consider:
- At least one result must be gained in the Northern hemisphere.
- Results are for the same discipline.
- Specific criteria in Physicality & Robustness measures, reviewed on an annual basis are pre-requisites for HPD and Elite carding
- The Selection Panel reserves the right to include/exclude competition results based on the strength and quality of field in each competition.
- Athletes may be selected to the programme at any level, based on meeting the above criteria. This would apply to first-time entry. Athletes returning after transitioning out must return at a higher level.
Data used by Selectors during the Selection Process
- Throughout the course of the selection process data may be collected in respect to athletes.
- SSNZ will disclose the data considered by the Selection Panel upon request by the Athlete.
- The Selection Criteria shall be posted on the SSNZ website at snowsports.co.nz and a physical copy will be made available to any interested party upon request.
- Any change to the Selection Criteria shall be posted on the website.
- It shall be the responsibility of all athletes who apply or are nominated for selection to familiarise themselves with the Selection Criteria.
- An athlete may lodge an appeal with the SSNZ Chief Executive at any time. All appeals must be submitted in written form.
- The SSNZ NZ Chief Executive will attempt to respond to the athlete within one day (twenty-four (24) hours), but not later than five (5) days (120 hours) of lodgement of the appeal.
- The SSNZ Chief Executive will consult with the members of the relevant Selection Panel and any other person as may be deemed appropriate to properly respond to the athlete.
- An appeal by an athlete may only be made on one or more of the following grounds:
- The applicable selection criteria have not properly been followed, applied and/or implemented.
- The athlete seeking selection was not afforded a reasonable opportunity to satisfy the applicable selection criteria.
- The selection process was affected by actual bias.
- There was no material on which the selection decision could reasonably be based.
- Determination of Appeal. Upon determination of the appeal the SSNZ Chief Executive shall communicate his or her decision together with an appropriate recommendation to both the SSNZ Board and the athlete.
- The SSNZ Board after due consideration of the findings and recommendation of the SSNZ Chief Executive shall decide as to the course of action to be followed by SSNZ which shall be communicated to the athlete at the earliest opportunity.
- If at the conclusion of the above process the athlete remains dissatisfied, the athlete may file an application for appeal with the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand ("Sports Tribunal"). Thereafter the appeal shall be determined in accordance with the Rules of the Sports Tribunal (see sportstribunal.org.nz).
- The decision of the Sports Tribunal shall be binding on the parties and, subject to any right of review and/or appeal as set out in the Rules of the Sports Tribunal, no party to the appeal may institute or maintain proceedings in any Court or other Tribunal.
- An athlete with a long-standing career within the SSNZ HP programme may be offered SSNZ Ambassador status when transitioning out of the programme. Generally, Ambassador status will be offered to athletes who:
- Are seen as a mentor/role model but are NOT currently demonstrating the ability to podium in Milan-Cortina 2026.
- Was a previous Elite Podium or Elite athlete.
- Will have access to the SSNZ HP gym facility at mutually agreed times.
- Donates time (~2 days per year) in a voluntary capacity to support SSNZ with training camps, awards, guest coaching and other special projects as specified by the High Performance Director.
- This criteria is NOT the Olympic or Paralympic Selection criteria
- This criteria is NOT the High Performance Sport (HPSNZ) Tailored Athlete Pathway Support (TAPs) criteria.