Talent Development Centres

Talent Development Centres have been run since 2012.  There are four centres, one in each of the Far NorthNorthern, 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 provide a forum for them to train together. The Centres form an important step in the national High Performance player pathway.  Hard work at TDC level can help to prepare players for involvement in the later steps of the High Performance Programme: 

  • Junior Development Squad (under 15 and under 17)
  • Elite Junior Squads (boys and girls) (under 19)

The programme, which consists 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".

2015 Selection Criteria and Hosts


The Talent Development Centres in 2015 will be hosted for the most part in Auckland (Far North), Cambridge (Northern), Palmerston North (Central) and Christchurch (Southern) respectively.

Selection Criteria

  • 20 players must be selected for each TDC
  • The top three players (boys and girls) on the grading list (only taking into account the TDC catchment area) in each of the under 11 and under 13 age groups as at 1 January 2014 are guaranteed invitations to participate in the TDC programme for the year and the remaining eight places are at the discretion of the TDC Head Coach/organiser.  This will ensure some transparency around selection, and should ensure that all age groups and sexes are reasonably well represented in each TDC.  Squash NZ will send TDC organisers the age group grading list as at 1 January 2014 around the middle of December. 
  • The remaining eight places in the TDC are ‘wildcard selections’ at the discretion of the TDC head coach/organiser.  These wildcards can be any age group and/or sex, and could potentially include players with unlucky birthdays (who are ‘only just’ out of age as at 1 January).  Squash NZ suggests that organisers ask for nominations from neighbouring districts.
  • If a player guaranteed an invitation by his/her place on the grading list turns his/her place down, that place goes into the ‘wildcard pool’.
  • Squash New Zealand will communicate with the eleven districts reminding them that the TDCs are an important part of the High Performance programme, and inform them that the TDC organisers will be in touch to ask for nominations in due course.


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.


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