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How to Apply for a Team as Team Management

Athletics New Zealand High Performance manages the organisation of teams/athletes competing in International Championships ranging from Oceania Championships through to the Olympic Games. 

This document provides a guide for an athlete wishing to be considered for selection on to one of these teams.

Your first port of call is to familiarise yourself with the High Performance (HP) section of the Athletics NZ website.  

Athletics NZ High Performance Website

  • The Competitions Calendar on the right side of the Home page is a brief on future overseas competitions and information about them.  Full information is contained under the Competitions tab.
  • The section Latest News/Policy Releases is where we publish Selection Polices or Nomination Criteria, Team Selection Announcements, Team Management Vacancies and other important announcements.  You can see all past and present articles in this area under the News tab.
  • Note:  A Selection Policy is a team that Athletics NZ is managing whereas a Nomination Criteria is a team that the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) is managing and there are different requirements for each.

Selection Policy

  • When a Selection Policy is released, please ensure that you read it carefully. 
  • There is important information contained within the Selection Policy that you need to be aware of and adhere to.  Please ensure you read and understand the following:

·         Where and when the competition is being held

·         Nomination/Selection Philosophy – Top 16 etc

·         When Team Management vacancies will be advertised by.

·         Selection Announcement date

·         Possible travel dates

Competition Information

  • Information you need to know around competitions and team management vacancies is under the Competitions tab. 

Competitions Calendar

  • Under Competitions tab, then Calendars/Policies tab and selecting the year, it will show you an overview of the championships/competitions taking place internationally which HP will be involved with managing.
  • The Competitions Calendar provides athletes and coaches with the following information:

·         Level of a competition e.g. white/silver/black singlet

·         Competition dates and location

·         Selection Policy/Nomination Criteria/Statement

·         Website link for further information on the Championship/Competition 

Competition Levels/Tiers

  • Black Singlet (B) competitions include:

·         Olympic Games

·         World Athletics Track and Field Championships

·         World Athletics Indoor Track & Field Championships

·         Commonwealth Games

·         World Athletics Junior Track & Field Championships

·         World Athletics Youth Track & Field Championships

  • Silver Singlet (S) competitions include:

·         Any additional World Athletics Championship listed outside of the above Black Singlet competitions i.e. World Athletics Cross Country Championships.

·         International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) World Championships

·         International University Sports Federation (FISU) World Championships

·         World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) World Championships

  • White Singlet (W) competitions include:

·         Any other competitions where an athlete or a team is being selected to represent Athletics New Zealand

  • Open Event/Non-selected (O) competitions include:

·         Competitions where there is no Selection Policy.  For some non‐selected competitions, Athletics New Zealand may coordinate entries on behalf of Athletics Australia e.g. Australian Cross Country Championships.            

Team Management for each Competition Level/Tier

  • Note:  All Team Leaders, Operations Managers and Team Coaches are required to be registered with Athletics New Zealand Coach Membership.
  • Medical staff positions such as physios and doctors are not usually advertised for our Travelling teams. Please contact HP Teams Coordinator Jess for more information.
  • White Singlet Competitions

·         Entry level team management candidates wishing to pursue future Team management roles with White/Silver tier teams.

·         Knowledge of and involvement in Athletics at either club/regional/ national/international level, this may include former NZ representative status.

·         Familiar with the age group of the team members.

·         Previous experience in the role of team leader with teams at school/club/regional/national level is highly desirable.

·         Previous experience with level of competition and level of athlete that is likely to be at competition.

·         Ability to work well with other team staff.

·         Travel experience/knowledge.

  • Silver Singlet Competitions

·         Experience in a team management role with White tier competitions is highly desirable.

·         Familiar with the age group and/or discipline of the team members e.g. mountain running.

·         Familiar with team members and competitive level of athletes in the team.

·         Team coaches for silver singlet events will be selected based on their fit with the team.

·         Other languages desirable, particularly language of competition country.

·         Familiar with host country of championships is beneficial.

·         Travel experience/knowledge.

·         Ability to work cooperatively with other team staff.

·         Preference will be given to those who hold an Athletics NZ Performance Coach Qualification (PCQ).

·         All applications are welcome but candidates will not necessarily be selected from applicants who have applied.

  • Black Singlet Competitions

·         Team management positions for Black Singlet competitions are not advertised.

·         In the first instance the Team Leader role will be filled by the HP Director or other HP staff dependent on the competition.

·         Where no suitable Athletics New Zealand staff representative is available to fill the Team Leader role, the position will be offered to suitable experienced candidates. This may include those who have travelled on Black Singlet teams in the past.

·         Team coaches for pinnacle events will in the first instance be Athletics NZ staff, contracted coaches, event group leaders and possibly personal coaches.

·         In the event no coaches from the above areas are available to fill the position/s, the position/s will be re- evaluated and may be open to other potential team coach candidates.

·         Preference will be given to those who hold an Athletics NZ Performance Coach Qualification (PCQ).

·         Staff Appointments for Black Singlet Teams must balance a number of factors such as:

 -  Number of available “Full” accreditations and “P” accreditations.

 - Flexibility of the Championship Organiser in relation to sharing accreditations.

 - Medical and management requirements of the team.  

 - Priority individual athlete requirements. 

 - Priority relay squad requirements

·         The overall structure and balance of team staff for Major Championship Teams will be determined by the Athletics New Zealand Staff Appointments Selection Panel in consultation with the Athletics NZ HP Director based on factors such as those listed above.


  • White and Silver singlet Team Management vacancies are advertised in a statement on the HP website.  The statement will advise closing date for applications and will also have a link to further information and the Selection Policy for the competition.
  • They are also listed in the Vacancies section under the Competitions tab.
  • It is important that you check the HP website on a regular basis for anything updated on Latest News/Policy Releases items and new information within the Competitions Calendar
  • We also announce Vacancies via the following:

·         Facebook – Make sure you ‘Like’ the Athletics New Zealand Facebook page.

·         Twitter – Follow us on Twitter @AthleticsNZ

·         Athletics in Action - sign up to the fortnightly newsletter at the bottom of the Athletics NZ web page.

  • It is important to note that usually White and Silver singlet roles are volunteer and unpaid positions.  However, tour costs are covered.

Team Management Application Form

  • Once you decide that you wish to apply for a Vacancy on a team, you must fill out a Team Management Application Form. You will find the link for this form within the Vacancies page as shown on the screen shot above in red.
  • This is an online form and has mandatory questions for us to gain important information on each athlete applying.
  • If there is more than one competition calling for team management applications at the same time, you will first be shown a page asking to select which competition you are applying for.
  • When you reach the end, ensure you click BOTH Submit Now pages until you reach a CONFIRMATION page to ensure that your application has been completed and submitted.  You will receive an email confirming receipt of your completed form.

Team Roles

Below is a brief overview of the roles associated with our Team Appointments.

Note: All Team Leaders, Operations Managers and Team Coaches are required to be registered with Athletics New Zealand Coach Membership.

Team Leader:

  • The Team Leader will have the overall responsibility for the welfare of the team.  Working in coordination with the Operations Manager and team coaches, the Team Leader is responsible for establishing an acceptable team environment to facilitate successful outcomes by team members.
  • The Team Leader is also responsible for coordinating the work of the team coaches, medical staff and other team support staff.
  • In addition to the duties for which the Team Leader is solely responsible for, there are many elements of team management and administrations that they also must attend to.
  • In addition the team management will need a working understanding of drug testing and media services (if applicable)
  • Post-event, the Team Leader will be required to submit a report.

Operations Manager:

  • Operations manager refers to the coordination of various operational and administration duties that are required in order for any team to participate successfully. The administrative functions cover a wide variety of areas including event travel logistics, pre‐planning, communications, event issues and so on.
  • How well these various functions are managed can have a significant impact on the success of the team.
  • Not every team requires an Operations Manager – this is dependent on team size and other variables with regards to the competition.

Team Coaches

  • Team Coaches provide key support to athletes before and at a championship or event and will often be required to advise athletes on technical matters in the absence of a personal coach. Event Coaches will need to liaise with the Team Leader and HP Teams Coordinator to coordinate the following:
  • Knowledge of specific coaching, technical and tactical matters relative to the events for which they are responsible
  • Providing specific coaching, technical and tactical services for athletes at the competition.
  • Assistance with training programs of athletes and any specific coaching requirements by liaising with athlete/coaches when on tour.
  • Coordinate with the team leader on appropriate team pre‐event planning and competition strategies.
  • Take an overview of an athlete’s preparation and ensure coach/athlete planning is carried out to maximize performance.
  • The number of Team Coaches allocated to any travelling team will vary from event to event and will be allocated according to the event group break down of athletes travelling.


Attributes and Selection Procedure

We take the appointment of managers, coaches and support staff for teams that represent Athletics New Zealand very seriously.

All Team Leaders, Operations Managers and Team Coaches are required to be registered with Athletics New Zealand Coach Membership.

These are some of the qualities we are looking for in team appointments:

  • Applicants should be proficient in a range of technical events and knowledge. For example, we may require a coach experienced in Hammer, Shot Put, and Discus at a high level and who can cover other events at times to assist other team coaches. This is why we often wait until the team is selected to appoint the coaches.
  • Applicants familiar with high level competitions. The World Championships are elite competitions and require support staff who are accustomed to the requirements of these meetings.
  • Applicants who have experience coaching a squad of athletes with a variety of needs, a centre team or experience on development trips to observe how they operate with other coaches and athletes in a team environment.
  • Applicants who will work as part of the team. In the past we have found some coaches who have athletes in the team, subconsciously treat their athlete differently.
  • Management and Coaches, who at times can be firm with athletes whose behavior is sometimes inappropriate.
  • We often need a balance of male and female management staff in order to suit the team requirements.

Not every applicant will meet the aforementioned criteria, but this it is what we are aiming for. If the overall applicants for a team position do not meet our needs, we will extend our search and invite others to apply.

The selection panel includes Athletics New Zealand staff members with experience managing teams, coach development and high performance. The group also confers with the CEO if necessary. The appointments are then approved by the Athletics New Zealand Board.

Further Information

If you are unsure about anything to do with the Selection Policies/Nomination Criteria, website, vacancies, applying for a team or how to find anything, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We are here to help you.

You can contact us by email the HP Teams Coordinator Jess or call the Athletics NZ office on 09 477 0210.

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