The effort to move the Olympic sport of canoe slalom forward with a national development programme for its representative high-potential athletes has taken another step forward with the appointment of Aaron Osborne as head coach.
The Rotorua-based coach's role is for one year until the Junior and Under-23 World Championships in Sydney.
Osborne has represented New Zealand in the K1 discipline for many years and has worked his way up through the coaching ranks.
He has coached the development squad, worked with a some of New Zealand's top athletes, been mentored by international slalom coaches, and coached a developing nation at last year's Olympics.
Osborne will use these extensive experiences and skills with his study at Massey University in sport science/coaching to develop a programme for high-potential athletes and structure for the sport.
So far 24 athletes have joined the athlete-funded endeavour, which demonstrates their clear support and commitment to investing in better structure and coaching.
The athletes participating are representatives from the Senior, under-23, junior and development teams.
This range of ages and skill levels provides good depth to the programme in preparation for future world championships, world cups and other Canoe Federation races, with a major goal being the Olympic Games in 2016.
Osborne, who will start in the role immediately, said: "I'm looking forward to the challenge and diversity of this new role and establishing good relationships with Sport NZ to progress the Olympic sport of canoe slalom in New Zealand."