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High Performance Sports Pathway Programme

Whangamata Area School is proud to offer two areas of high performance sports pathways that will sit beside each other to develop a culture of elite sports here at WAS. They are the Sports Academy and Surf Academy.


Apply via online HP application pack accessed on the school website or by request. This pack includes academic and behavioral reports, sporting achievements and will need to include a cover letter explaining why they would like to be considered. Students will also require one academic referee and one sporting referee. An interview process will apply and consist of applying student, caregiver/s, Principal, HP Director and Surf Academy Coach.

The Principal, HP Sports director and Surf Academy Coach are responsible for the selection of the students who apply. They will consider all information provided and make a decision based upon the following criteria:

  • Sporting achievements
  • Behavioral suitability
  • Academic suitability

Applying Students

The two high performance pathway programmes require a substantial amount of commitment and dedication to both sport and academia. There is a high expectation academically within the NCEA programme offered, where students will be enrolled in 5 NCEA subjects (Year 11- 13). Students in Years 7-10 will also be expected to meet academic expectations and not fall behind in other learning areas. This is to help foster well-rounded athletes who succeed on the sporting field and in the classroom.

The Sports Academy and Surf Academy run in conjunction with each other throughout the year with classes inside of the school timetable, four periods a week. The Surf Academy will have extra requirements outside of weekly school hours and during school holiday times. Every year both the Surf Academy and Sports Academy students will attend a three day camp at Wharekawa Lodge at the start of the school year. This camp is designed to create the high performance culture within the groups. The following aspects will be the focus of the camp:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Team building
  • Goal setting
  • Culture

School Representation

  • Uniform

  • Leadership positions

  • Demeanor around school

  • Positive role modeling

  • Supporting other students

  • Involvement in all school sporting/cultural/academic events

Three strikes policy

A three strike policy will apply to all members of the Sports Academy and Surf Academy to maintain the positive expectations of the elite athletes. A strike is considered a serious breach of the expectations of being an athlete in the High Performance Pathway Programmes and is designed to encourage positive behaviour and role modeling. When a strike is issued the Sports Academy Coach or Surf Academy Coach will meet with the student and discuss how they will need to improve. Once a student receives three strikes they will be immediately dropped from the programme for the year, but will have the option to reapply in the following year.

Strike Criteria

  • A high level behavioral breach (smoking, vaping, fighting, put on report etc)
  • Engagement report below 3.5 average after 4 weeks of notification
  • Attendance below 85% without good reason
  • Not meeting the ethos of the academy (missing training sessions, not following instructions and general disruption of the group).

Whangamata Sports Academy

The opportunity to excel in your chosen sport

Purpose of the programme

To offer students the opportunity to excel in their chosen sport through the high performance sports programme. To lift the performance of individual athletes by focusing on a holistic approach - the physical, mental and emotional characteristics. 

Students are provided with one-on-one and group sessions to help them reach their age-group potential and increase their overall performance in their chosen sport/s. The programme will consist of strength and conditioning training, nutritional, goal setting, time management, improving mental game, strategic thinking and emotional skills.

Whangamata Sports Academy


Movement skills, balance and stability, coordination, reaction, speed, explosiveness and endurance.


Commitment – how to stay motivated to achieve your goals. Confidence – how to believe in your abilities and control – how to maintain emotional control regardless of distraction.

Injury Prevention

Stretching and trigger point therapy/foam rolling, pre-hab and recovery strategies.


Good and bad food choices, pre and post competition nutrition and supplementation.


Students will gain a variety of NCEA standards based on the year group they are in.

  • Mentor/coach:
    Kirtis McNaughten
  • Who:
    Open to students from Years 10 - 13
  • Lessons per week:
  • Student Cost:
    $500 per year

Whangamata Surf Academy

The opportunity to excel in high performance surfing
Learning to surf Whangamata Area School

Purpose of the programme

Offer students the opportunity to excel in Surfing through the high performance surf programme. To lift the performance of individual athletes by focusing on a holistic approach - the physical, mental and emotional characteristics. 

Surf Academy students will discover their surfing potential through small group and one-on-one specialised coaching. 

Coaching focuses on the technique, fitness, wave knowledge and understanding of competition in surfing through the following:

  • Personalised, surf specific fitness training
  • Implementing strategies in heat surfing
  • Technical skill development
  • Biomechanical and video analysis

Academy students are expected to compete at all major surf competitions throughout the North Island of New Zealand that fall within a school calendar year, as well as running an annual competition in Whangamata. While the academy accepts students may have other sporting interests and commitments, it is expected that they prioritise surfing competitions and team trips that apply to their age group.

NCEA Levels 1-3

Students in NCEA years will gain NCEA credits through an Event Management Course, Sports Science Course and a Surf Instructor Course. These achievement standards will give them qualifications in such areas that can lead to employment in the surf industry during and after school life.

Years 7-10

Students in Middle School will be expected to meet the academic expectations of school classes while spending time out of the classroom for surf training. They will be mentored through this by academy coaches who will work closely with classroom teachers.
Whangamata Surf Academy
Whangamata Surfer
  • Mentor/coach:
    Dylan Care
  • Who:
    Open to students from Years 9 - 13
  • Lessons per week:
    4 + outside of school hours
  • Student Cost:
    $250 per term

Applications are now Open for 2024!