Triathlon: Ryan Sissons hoping for success under new management

Triathlon New Zealand is promising its athletes they'll have more independence, as it welcomes in a new high performance regime.

That comes as one of its most experienced performers makes a return to the sport, after falling out with the governing body last year.

After more than a decade's service wearing the fern around the world, Ryan Sissons saw Triathlon NZ turn its back on him.

"I felt really frustrated at that and it wasn't ideal for me," he said. "It pushed me away from the federation and Triathlon New Zealand.

"I was getting very much controlled as to what I can and can't do."

While still racing for New Zealand, Sissons was training independent of the high performance programme.

That eventually saw him left out of the squad for the Hamburg World Cup last year.

But the new high performance duo of Hamish Carter and Stephen Sheldrake recognised the situation for athletes like Sissons was unique.

"We want to make our athletes independent and run their own campaign, and we're guiding them," said national performance manager Sheldrake. "They'll bounce ideas off us."

That's quite a change from how the high performance programme has been run in the past, where training was monitored to make sure athletes were meeting Triathlon NZ standards.

"He knows what he has to do, but sometimes, he just needs a sounding board to say 'how about this, how about that' and just challenge him," Sheldrake said.

Sissons thinks this move is crucial, as he prepares for the Tokyo Olympics.

"It's something we need for the next 18 months leading into the Olympics," he said. "It's important to have people who know what's going on, and have been there and done that.

"We've definitely got that.".

Sheldrake hopes the change will take New Zealand back to the heights of 2004, when Carter and Bevan Docherty finished first and second at the Athens Olympics.

"Ultimately, we want to win more medals at the Olympic Games," he said. "That's the pinnacle of our sport."


Contact Newshub with your story tips: