The Development Squad Programme is for Southland’s young athletes who aspire to go further in their sport by recognizing and supporting talent, achievement and potential. It sets a foundation that will hopefully see more Southlanders progress to international level.
Educate Athletes and their coaches on good training practices, enabling them to prepare for the next competitive level in the sport.
Provide assistance to enable athletes and their coaches to compete in the environment required for them to achieve their athletic goals without having to sever links with the province.
Provide a supportive, fun, team environment of peers & mentors.
Provide a path to the National Performance programme with eventual inclusion in an Athletics New Zealand squad and carding by Athletics New Zealand by having athletes commit to the criteria required of national squad athletes. This includes athlete and coach working with squad and strand leaders and support services, having pre-agreed performance targets, the commitment to achieve them and following suitable planning procedures (competition, training, career, performance monitoring etc.)
And above all, provide an environment where athletes are continually challenging themselves.
Introductory level, recognition of talented young athletes aged 13 and up. The primary object of this level of the Squad is to fill the ‘void’ between Children’s and Senior athletics as well as providing a good foundation in the sports principles of training, competing and following pathways to realize potential. This is the entry level for all new athletes to the squad. Getting invited to join the Squad is based on performance, talent potential and commitment to the sport. Athletes at this squad level have the opportunity to prove their commitment to the sport and their ability to perform to progress into one of the 3 tiers.
Tiers 3, 2 and 1:
Progression into each of the 3 Tiers is based on the level of athlete performance, dedication and commitment to the sport. Tier 1 is the highest level of the Development Squad. Selection and progression into each of these tiers is at the discretion of the Squad Directors.
Selection into the squad is by the directors, who will also decide which tier athletes will progress to. It is possible to move both up and down between each of the 3 tiers.
Staying in a certain tier is based mainly on performance. Athletes must achieve good results and show that they want to progress in the sport. To remain in the Squad they must keep getting results and keep showing commitment.