Athlete Development Programme

Formerly known as Sports Institute, the ADP has adopted a more holistic approach to long-term athletic development. The ADP will use research-backed testing and training to optimise performance for each child’s needs. During a period when young athletes are more susceptible to injuries and burnout, the ADP programme will reduce the risk of injury and keep athletes hungry for personal growth. With several key equipment upgrades, the students at St John’s College now have more tools than ever to prepare for the stressors of high-level secondary school sport.

Students will participate in strength, speed, and agility sessions while learning about goal-setting, mental training, proper recovery, and nutrition.

The Director of Athlete Development will work directly with sport science departments at WINTEC and SPRINZ AUT to assess and optimise training for the students.



The ADP is an invitation only course. The change from the former Sports Institute now allows for athletes from all sports to trial. 

Trials take place on Year 8 Orientation Day and include physical, mental, and emotional criteria. Students are then asked to prepare and submit CV’s if invited to the next round of trials. Successful applicants will be notified in writing.


Staff Spotlights

Andrew Pichardo

Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, Andrew holds an MS in Exercise Science with a concentration in Strength and Conditioning and a BS in Exercise Physiology with a minor in Psychology. He also holds an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach certification. He has worked with strength and conditioning programs at elite sporting high school IMG Academy, DII Midwestern State, DI University of Florida, DI Appalachian State, Milwaukee Brewers (Major League Baseball), and most recently with the sledding sports (bobsled, skeleton, and luge) at the Lake Placid Olympic Training Centre in New York. He also taught undergraduate biomechanics labs while pursuing his MS.

Tymon Neil

Mr Neil has been involved with the Sport’s Institute for the past two years. He entered St John’s College with a background in Strength & Conditioning, working with the Waikato Rugby Union in their Pre-academy programme. He is currently completing his Level 2 coaching qualification with the WRU. Mr Neil is the TIC of Rugby at St John’s College. He holds a Bachelor of Sport & Exercise Science (majoring in Exercise Programming & Coaching Pedagogy) and a Diploma in Secondary Teaching.