Shaping the Future of Gymnastics in Aotearoa Work Plan

GNZ AdminIndependent Review, Member Updates

The Gymnastics NZ Steering Committee has today shared its Shaping the Future of Gymnastics in Aotearoa Work Plan in response to the 2021 Independent Review. The Work Plan is the next step in continuing to forge positive cultural changes in our sport.

The development of the Shaping the Future of Gymnastics in Aotearoa Work Plan was led by independent Chair Sally McKechnie.  Since January 2022, the Steering Committee has met eight times to consider the recommendations and classify them into themes to provide a framework for robust consideration.

The four themes identified by the Steering Committee are:

  1. Integrity
  2. Health & Wellbeing
  3. Environment & Culture
  4. People & Programmes

The Steering Committee received briefings, discussed, and reviewed each individual Independent Review recommendation. Gap analysis, identification of core concepts, potential key partners involvement, reviews of key national and international best-practice was also undertaken. This work was also considered with the work of the independent Integrity Working Group to ensure it links and leverages with the new standalone integrity entity for sport that will be established in the future.

The Steering Committee had focused sessions on the agreed themes. This included significant pre-reading to inform the Committee’s responses to create the Shaping the Future of Gymnastics in Aotearoa Work Plan which includes 19 key priorities.

The priority actions identified in the Work Plan involve a broad range of initiatives designed to improve gymnastics across all of Aotearoa. For example, within the Integrity theme this includes engaging independent experts to look at preventative and restorative practices, ensuring complaints process is fit-for-purpose, empowering athlete voice and lifting the tamariki and rangatahi centered focus.

The Health & Wellbeing theme focuses on researching medical & health panels with current and ex-gymnasts and HPSNZ to determine the best way to provide this function while also building a long-term athlete development framework that incorporates a strong focus on biological and physiological development factors, particularly for young girls.

Priorities under Environment & Culture include defining Gymnastics NZ’s role in leading culture and how it can support best practice in clubs.

The People & Programmes theme will see the continuation of several initiatives underway such as the GNZ’s Coach Development Framework, along with additional work in judging, technical committees, and looking at ways to ensure education and development programmes are tamariki and rangatahi focused and friendly.

“Initial meetings defined the Steering Committee’s values, gave a comprehensive overview of gymnastics in New Zealand, and members were educated on trauma-informed practice, human rights, mediation, complaints, survivors voice and child safeguarding,” said Sally McKechnie, Independent Chair of the Gymnastics New Zealand Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee also met with the authors of the Independent Review and with Stephanie Dyhrberg and Angela Williams who delivered the connected complaints and mediation process.

“Leading the development of the Work Plan was an absolute privilege. The combination of lived and expert experience was powerful. Each Steering Committee member was dedicated to carefully considering all the information and working together to arrive at responses we think will make a real difference to the gymnastics community in Aotearoa,” she added.

The Board of Gymnastics New Zealand have accepted the Work Plan and are now actively engaged in working with the Committee and gymnastics community to commence delivery.

“We thank the Steering Committee for the substantial mahi, quality thinking and constructive approach. They have formed a plan of action that honors the Independent Review and will continue to propel gymnastics in Aotearoa New Zealand forward,” said Quinton Hall, Chair of Gymnastics New Zealand.

“We know how keen everyone is to be engaged and involved. The Work Plan is set to begin implementation from the beginning of July. The gymnastics community will be consistently engaged in its progress through regular communication and opportunities to connect with this important mahi,” added Quinton.

Sally McKechnie                             Quinton Hall                                   Tony Compier

Steering Committee Chair             Board Chair                           CEO