Women in basketball supported through first High Performance Wāhine Coaches Workshop

The High Performance Wāhine Coaches Workshop was held alongside the Sky Sport Tall Ferns Selection Camp at Pulman Arena earlier this month.

In line with Sport New Zealand’s women and girls strategy, Basketball New Zealand’s High Performance team are fostering opportunities to enable a greater representation of women in coaching and leadership positions.

High Performance Programmes Manager Melinda Hodgson says the aim of the workshop is to create development opportunities and create an inclusive environment.

“Many of our coaches lead busy lives and meet a variety of expectations. They coach and manage teams, work with players, parents, clubs, associations, schools, and develop other coaches, while also managing full-time work and managing their whānau. It leaves little time for other things – investing in their own professional development can be put aside as a result.

“We wanted to provide a flexible and safe environment to support their growth. Being in a room together and sharing ideas, discussing ways to improve as an individual and as a group, is inspiring.”

Hodgson said the group was fortunate to hear from some fantastic speakers including Olympian Beatrice Faumuina, Sonia Boland from High Performance Sport New Zealand and leader of the Women in High Performance Sport Project. Also fellow coaches and Olympians Jody Cameron and Leanne Walker spoke.

“Any time we can come together is an opportunity to connect and collaborate to benefit the overall game. This is a passionate group of wāhine toa who are keen to increase, empower and support the growth of high performance wāhine coaches.

“BBNZ are grateful to be able to leverage this passion, knowledge and experience within the group, as we work together to provide initiatives to inspire the next generation of wāhine coaches, leaders and players,” added Hodgson.

The workshop drew 12 attendees from around New Zealand including Nelson Basketball GM and representative coach Frances Tilly.

“It was a real privilege to spend three days not only in the Tall Ferns environment, but also alongside the women who are leading our game and I feel honoured to have been part of it,” enthused Tilly.

“Getting these amazing women in the same room, without the pressures of coaching, to discuss how we work together to champion the women’s High Performance space was great.

“I took away a renewed sense of purpose in what I am doing and I’m excited to see how we can grow and set up a pathway for more female coaches, hopefully without the barriers we have dealt with. The strategy put in place from the workshop is exciting and is really tapping into the strengths and knowledge within the group,” reflected Tilly.

This recent opportunity was available for coaches involved in the BBNZ High Performance system, or who have previously been a part of the National Age Group system and continue to be involved at a regional/association representative level.



Mel Bennett NZ U16 Girls Apprentice Coach Tauranga
Jody Cameron Tall Ferns Assistant Coach Auckland
Mel Downer NZ U16 Boys Head Coach Christchurch
Shay Haira NZ U19 Girls Assistant Coach New Plymouth
Tania Hunter National Coach Trainer Auckland
Pina Lissaman NZ U16 Girls Assistant Coach Christchurch
Sarah Molisa NZ U17 Boys Apprentice Coach Wellington
Justine Reed 3×3 Women Head Coach Auckland
Frances Tilly Prev Age Group Coach / GM Nelson BA Nelson
Natalie Visger NZ U17 Girls Assistant Coach Dunedin
Leanne Walker Prev Age Group Coach / Waikato Coach Hamilton
Tyler Wilkinson NZ U17 Girls Head Coach Hamilton

*Rachel Gwerder, Bronwen Davidson and Lori McDaniel were unavailable.