Talent Development Centres were run for the first time in 2012. Small changes were made to the programme in 2013, to provide greater financial support from Squash NZ. There are four centres, one in each of the Far North, Northern, Central and Southern zones (Head Coached by Mark Waldin, Lindsey Walters, Jason Fletcher and Mike Allred respectively). Talent Development Centres cater to the country's top under 11 and under 13 players, and provides a forum for them to train together. The Centres address a gap in the current national squad structure, which includes the World Junior squads for the country's top juniors, and the National Development Squad for the top under 17 and under 15 players. The Talent Development Centre Programme provides top coaching and guidance for the leading younger players, and provides a stepping stone for them to reach the National Development Squad.
The programme, which will consist of three weekend camps over the course of the season, is endorsed by Squash New Zealand and recognised as being a key part of the player pathway from district to National level. As such, coaching, training, education and development opportunities will be provided for younger players showing talent at regional/national events. In order for players to be introduced early to the themes being delivered at National Squads, the New Zealand High Performance Coach will provide support to the coaches to plan the three camps. Squash New Zealand will also make a financial contribution towards the running of the programme.
High Performance Coach Paul Hornsby said "The Talent Development Centre Programme is designed to offer increased support to the country's most talented under 11 and 13 players, allowing them to train in a squad environment alongside their competitors. The benefits are clear to see in terms of education and development of both players and coaches. The ideal would be for us to create three centres across the country, this would make the sessions more accessible as well as creating a larger pool of refined players to feed the National Development Squads in future years".
The Talent Development Centres in 2014 will be hosted for the most part in Auckland (Far North), Cambridge (Northern), Palmerston North (Central) and Christchurch (Southern) respectively.
Each camp will select a Head Coach, and use at least two Assistant Coaches. Coaching development will be provided to all Head Coaches by Squash NZ to ensure that themes taught are consistent across the country, and with the rest of the High Performance programme.
When selection nominations are sent out by each TDC, nominations for Assistant Coaches will also be invited. Each neighbouring district will receive at least one opportunity to provide an Assistant Coach (on a paid basis) at a TDC camp. This is an important part of the High Performance Coaching Pathway, and will provide development opportunities to coaches from all around the country.
Guest coaches/presenters are also likely to be invited from camp to camp to deliver miscellaneous themes/sessions.