New Zealand & Japan team up

By Triathlon New Zealand | 10 Feb, 2015

Triathlon New Zealand (Tri NZ) confirmed its long-standing relationship with its Japanese colleagues and marking clear intent towards Tokyo 2020, today signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Japanese Triathlon Union (JTU). Long the leading Asian nation in triathlon, the partnership with the JTU will benefit both nations’ high performance programmes in the years ahead, and manifest immediately with the appearance of Japanese triathletes at the Sovereign Tri Series Takapuna event this Friday night.

The agreement cements long-standing relationships between the two nations, with New Zealand athletes invited to Japan to race as far back as 1985 for Japan Ironman and 1986 for the Japan Triathlon Series while Japan has for many years sent their athletes to New Zealand for training and racing experience – including many age groupers coming to New Zealand to combine travel with a triathlon experience.

Tri NZ High Performance Director Graeme Maw is delighted to announce the MOU between the two Asia/Pacific neighbours.

“This is a partnership that is all encompassing, it is about shared experiences in training, competing, coaching, sports science and governance. There is already that shared history between the two countries and with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in mind, this is a commitment between Tri NZ and JTU to collaborate and fortify that relationship to develop athletes, coaches, events, knowledge and culture in the sport of triathlon for mutual benefit.”

JTU Secretary General, Masao Nakayama, agrees: “I am delighted to have come to an agreement for the triathletes and sport of triathlon between our countries. I believe this will be a great news for all the group of people related to the sports.”

The relationship has already benefited athlete, coach and event development, and sports governance, with respective high performance squads visiting each other for training and competition annually in recent times.

This includes the appearance of three Japanese athletes and coaches at the Sovereign Tri Series Kinloch event in Taupo just over a week ago, and the reciprocal visit of the Tri NZ Development Squad to Osaka last year with Tayler Reid and Dan Hoy claiming medals.

Japan will again be represented at the Takapuna Round of the Sovereign Tri Series on Friday night (racing for age group athlete’s takes place on the Saturday morning). The heat and finals format of racing over a super-sprint distance carries ITU ranking points, with Oceania Continental Cup status. CLICK HERE

Specifically, between now and Tokyo 2020, the High Performance Programmes of Tri NZ and JTU commit to:

   Facilitating and pursuing training opportunities in respective countries, through which athletes will spend time sharing the joy of effort and learning cultural norms;
   Supporting bilateral and multilateral competitions in respective countries, through which athletes will enjoy the positive benefits of respectful international rivalry;
   Supporting each other at competitions and events around the world, both practically and for social wellbeing;
   Sharing coaching and scientific knowledge, including opportunities for interpersonal exchange, to enable each country to benefit from good example;
   Sharing international information related to the ITU community and Tokyo 2020;
   Sharing examples of good governance for the betterment of the sport in respective countries.

Both High Performance Programmes enjoy targeted status within their countries, from High Performance Sport New Zealand and the Japanese Olympic Committee, and have clear plans for Tokyo 2020.

The MOU is made consistent with the existing Partnership Agreement between the New Zealand Olympic Committee and the Japanese Olympic Committee and will be maximised for both parties through an agreed annual protocol of exchange at the start of each year, to reflect the goals and objectives of the two parties.

The MOU is effective until 31 December 2020, with both countries committing to maintaining the relationship beyond that date.