Strengthen and Adapt

January 2022 

Kia Ora and Happy New Year to our New Zealand tennis community   

I’m pleased to advise that last year Tennis NZ was selected to be part of the Sport NZ Strengthen and Adapt Programme (Wave 2).  

Sport NZ and High Performance Sport NZ established the Strengthen and Adapt Programme in July 2020 to improve the capacity, capability and resilience of selected national partners and their delivery networks, so that they are best positioned to meet the future needs of participants and athletes.  

Tennis NZ has been selected to participate in Wave 2 because of the impact our sport has on the physical activity and high-performance outcomes of New Zealanders.  Sport NZ and High Performance Sport NZ recognise the Strengthen and Adapt programme as a unique and significant opportunity to create a stronger sport sector. 

Background to Strengthen and Adapt 

The first Wave of 11 national partners went through the Strengthen and Adapt design phase in late 2020 and are now in their implementation phase.  Much has been learned from Wave 1 and tennis in New Zealand will now be the benefactor of that learning and the available funding. 

We intend to keep all stakeholders informed throughout our Strengthen and Adapt project, which will be in three key phases:  Discovery, Planning, Implementation. 

Tennis NZ is in a unique position compared to some partners in the sense that lots of Discovery phase work has already been undertaken through major consultation with the tennis community over the past 5 years.  This has included the tennis in NZ strategy development, and the Roles and Responsibilities Review which informed 2021’s Modernising Tennis Plan.  The next step is to consolidate other stakeholder insights, including Voice of Participant, and the sport and recreation sector more widely, with all of Sport NZ’s data and insights work available to us.  We will also be conducting focus groups to gather more diversity and inclusion insights (specifically bi-cultural and disability) and have established a Steering Group which will be supported by the Tennis NZ board.  As well as being members of tennis clubs, the steering group bring experience from governance, sport, data/insights/research, operations, finance, project management, not-for-profit, commercial, and retail sectors.  

Once we have examined this work, we will be in Planning mode, before again testing our thinking around Key Initiatives with our Board and Steering Group.  When our final Strengthen and Adapt programme has been signed off by Tennis NZ’s Board, it will be presented to Sport NZ (late March) along with our application for up to $450,000 in funding.  Once we have approval we will commence our Implementation phase, starting around May 2022. 


As part of the Strengthen and Adapt programme, Sport NZ is funding an Independent Advisor – Dianne Williams, who brings a commercial and governance background, along with involvement in Netball management and governance at grass roots and elite levels and was involved in Wave 1 in 2020 supporting Volleyball NZ and Girl Guiding NZ.  Jenny Fitzmaurice (Tennis NZ Head of Participation and Coaching) is the Project Manager for tennis, working alongside myself and the Tennis NZ Board.  Sport NZ is also providing funding to ensure that Jenny can dedicate the appropriate time to this project without impacting on the ‘business as usual’. 
We are very excited to be participating in Strengthen and Adapt Wave 2 and look forward to keeping you informed over the next few months. 

Nga mihi 

Julie Paterson