Olympic gold medallist Hamish Carter temporarily appointed Triathlon New Zealand high performance director
Olympic gold medallist Hamish Carter has temporarily taken over as Triathlon New Zealand's (TNZ) high performance director.
Carter, who won triathlon gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics, is on secondment from High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) for five months, and has taken over from departing boss Graeme Maw.
Maw resigned last month after four years in the job, which prompted two of New Zealand's top triathletes - Ryan Sissons and Andrea Hewitt - to laud his departure.
The pair banged heads with Maw and weren't happy with the way the high performance programme was functioning. Both left the programme to seek outside coaching.
TNZ president Arthur Klap said while Maw was contracted with TNZ until the end of the year, Carter was now "running the ship".
He will work about 20 hours a week for TNZ, giving the HP programme direction ahead of the new season.
"The athletes need guidance and direction," Klap said. "They need to know if they're carded, whether they're in squads, all those sorts of things.
"Having Hamish on board, he's got really positive links with the community and is highly regarded. Hamish and I work together really well and I can't thank HPSNZ enough for allowing him to be succonded for that period of time."
Carter, who is on board until the end of March, will play a key part in TNZ's consultation process with their coaches and athletes, as they "refine" the HP programme with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in mind.
TNZ is in a rebuilding process following a disappointing four year block between London 2012 and Rio 2016, and Klap is bracing for a funding cut for the next four year cycle.
HPSNZ will announce TNZ's funding through until 2021 next month, which will impact what kind of HP programme is installed.
"Once we know that [funding], then the strategy that we've refined then needs to be aligned with the funding that we've got," Klap said.
"Once we've got those things done, then we can go into the market for the new high performance director or whatever the nature of that position is."
Despite the HP programme hinging on the December 14 funding announcement, Klap said planning was well underway.
"I'm really optimistic about where we're heading," Klap said.
"It's a firm belief of mine that the total engagement from all the regional academies and the coaches working at that community level and regional level is absolutely critical to the sport.
"It doesn't matter how much funding we get from HPSNZ. Unless we've got our act together at all levels of our high performance community coaching programme, it\s not going to work."