The selection of Otago cricket coach Mike Hesson for SPARC’s Coach Accelerator Programme has been welcomed by Otago Cricket and New Zealand Cricket.
Otago Cricket Chief Executive Ross Dykes said Hesson fully deserved the opportunity to develop his coaching potential.
“As coach of the State Otago Volts, Mike’s been a fantastic asset with the team reaching five out of six one-day finals in the past three years, and Otago increasing its number of Blackcaps from one to six,” said Dykes. “He’s also had a great introduction to international success, coaching the New Zealand A team this year,”
“I have no doubt that his diligence and man-management skills have resulted in this wonderful opportunity to work with such an elite group and develop his skills to world class level.”
NZC’s General Manager Cricket, Geoff Allott, said Hesson was one of a number of talented coaches working in the New Zealand domestic scene.
“We’re confident Mike will get huge benefit from SPARC’s programme,” he said. “It’s an outstanding initiative and will complement the work that NZC is doing to continue raising the standard of cricket coaching in New Zealand.”
“We look forward to more of our elite level coaches taking up this opportunity in the future – strengthening our coaching force is an important step towards our goal of building cricket teams that can compete at the highest levels on the world stage.”
The programme, which is funded by SPARC and run by the New Zealand Academy of Sport North Island, is aimed at addressing a shortfall of world class coaches in New Zealand.
SPARC High Performance Manager Marty Toomey says the selected coaches are highly talented individuals who are passionate about driving thier skills up another gear. The aim of the Coach Accelerator Programme is to build a pool of world class coaching talent through an intensive training and development programme.
Hesson joins All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen, Yvette McCausland-Durie (netball), Tom Willmott (snowboarding), Dave Thompson (rowing) and Dayle Cheatley (track cycling) in the intial intake. A further five coaches will be selected each year so that there about 15 coaches going through the programme at any one time.
The group will complete a learning and development programme delivered primarily through four compulsory residential camps each year.
"I am excited and looking forward to improving myself as a coach in a challenging environment with a group of like minded elite coaches. It is up to me now to use this programme to develop my coaching skills to a level where I am of greater value to both Otago and New Zealand Cricket." Hesson said.
Dunedin-born Mike Hesson was director of coaching for Otago Cricket from 1996 to 2004.
He is currently based in Dunedin in his fourth season as head coach of the Otago Volts. Under his tenure the Otago Volts won the State Shield 2007-08 and the State Twenty20 2008-09.
He is also currently coach of New Zealand ``A’’ team – the team drew its test series vs India A in India, and drew the test series and won the One Day and Twenty/20 series against England Lions.