New Hamilton training facility boon to athletes

23:40, Jul 09 2014
Cameron French, Phil Sims
REACHING FOR THE TOP: Hurdlers Cameron French, left, and Phil Sims test the hurdles at Athletes House in Hamilton.

A new training facility offering aspiring sportspeople the type of high performance support previously only available to elite athletes will open in Hamilton on Sunday.

Athletes House, at 502 Grey St, is a ground-breaking privately-run initiative seeking to fill the void between those athletes already well catered for through High Performance Sport New Zealand, and young and club-based sportspeople trying to make the next level.

It will offer best-practice training programmes in conjunction with sports science, nutrition, and sports psychology for grass roots athletes.

Facilities and services will include injury and illness prevention and rehabilitation, strength and conditioning, athlete performance and technique analysis, physiology, psychology, and performance planning.

Partners in the venture are former Black Ferns and New Zealand women's Sevens squad member Crystal Kaua, husband and Waikato University premier rugby team manager Brent Kaua, Olympic lifting coach Shaun Patterson and nutritionist Zara Powell.

Crystal Kaua described the facility as an athlete-focused training facility for anyone who is serious about their sport.


"It's somewhere that our youth and club people who have the skill and ability but aren't part of high performance programmes, can experience the same elite platform in order to succeed and develop quicker," Kaua said.

"It's like fast-tracking. I didn't have access to this stuff until I made the New Zealand Sevens squad, and I was 28 at the time. I just wish I had been exposed to that type of training, sports psychology and nutritional advice from a young age.

"Think of what the performance and development possibilities are if we can expose more of our high school first team players and club sportspeople to the same best-practice regimes."

The venue's features include an indoor, two-lane purpose built synthetic 30-metre running track and a fully rubberised training space.

Among those endorsing the concept is leading sports psychologist David Galbraith, who has worked with the Chiefs, All Black Sevens, Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic and a host of top individuals from the region.

"Athlete House is a world-class idea and an extremely exciting initiative," he said.

"The opportunities for people, especially young people, aspiring to become elite athletes and even Olympians is incredible. I hope people realise the profound impact this centre will be able to contribute to their sporting development, and even more so to their evolution as world class people."

House members will have access to Galbraith four times a year in a workshop setting. 

Waikato Times