20 December 2011

funding for High Performance athletes in NZ

High Performance investments focused on big year of 2012@SPARC

Kiwi athletes and teams who have performed well this year and those likely to do well in an Olympic year are the big winners in today’s 2012 investment announcement by High Performance Sport New Zealand.

High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) Acting Chief Executive Martin Toomey says the focus of today’s announcement is on 2012, with new and continued investment support geared towards Kiwi athletes aiming for podium finishes or top 16 results next year.

``These investment decisions also recognise recent strong performances by Kiwi athletes. We’re really excited by how New Zealanders have been performing on the world stage and we know we’ve got a big year ahead of us with the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games,’’ he says.

``With our investment, we’re supporting sports with athletes who are capable of top 16 performances and podium finishes in 2012. Some new investment has been channeled into sports which have been producing great results on the world stage recently and are focused on doing even better next year.

``While these investment decisions are focused on 2012, we are also signaling support for sports which we expect to prove strong competition for our sporting rivals in 2016.’’

New Zealand’s equestrian eventing team, the men’s and women’s hockey teams, and the men’s and women’s basketball teams are among those to benefit from investment support in 2012.

Hockey is getting a top-up of $600,000 as a result of its performances at the 2011 Champions Trophy tournaments. The Black Sticks men, who finished fourth at the recent Champions Trophy tournament in Auckland, are getting $300,000 on top of the $800,000 they had already been allocated for 2012. This is in addition to the $100,000 HPSNZ provided towards hosting the Champions Trophy on home soil.

The Black Sticks women, who won a bronze medal at their Champions Trophy tournament, will get a top-up of $300,000 on their pre-existing 2012 allocation of $900,000.

New Zealand equestrian eventing is also among those to benefit from increased investment as they target the podium in London. The eventing team will get an extra $250,000 on top of the $1 million previously allocated for 2012.

Basketball benefits with the Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns both supported to qualify for the Olympic Games. Their allocation includes investment to help them to London if they succeed in qualifying.

Rowing is set to get an extra $500,000 on top of its previous allocation, bringing annual investment in its high performance programme to $4.82 million.

``Because Rowing NZ has already qualified 11 crews for the London Olympics and has more elite athletes in squads, it has higher overheads and some of the increased investment reflects that,’’ Toomey says.

BikeNZ will get an extra $200,000 to support its 2012 medal campaign. Part of its increased funding will support its fast-improving women’s track sprint programme.

Toomey says HPSNZ is also investing in Rugby Sevens and has signaled further investment in 2013, as the sport gears up towards entry to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. The investment in the New Zealand Rugby Union for its Sevens programme will support full-time Rugby Sevens coaching staff, Sevens-specific training camps, and international competition for the men and women.

Toomey says the applications for investment this year were for about twice the amount of money available.

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