Funding breakdown: Where the money went

The Football Ferns will benefit from a $1.6 million cash injection over the next two years. Photo / Getty Images.
The Football Ferns will benefit from a $1.6 million cash injection over the next two years. Photo / Getty Images.

Football Ferns get 1.6 million cash injection

The Football Ferns will benefit from a $1.6 million cash injection over the next two years, after the latest cycle of funding from High Performance Sport New Zealand was confirmed today.

High Performance Sport NZ congratulated New Zealand Football on their improved performance across the recently completed cycle and performance at the London Olympic Games, with funding of $800,000 per year for next year and 2014.

Women's football has been considered a Campaign Investment Sport, with the Football Ferns' international performances convincing High Performance Sport NZ they are tracking towards a medal at the Olympic Games in 2020.

New Zealand Football's high performance director Fred de Jong welcomed the increase in funding, which he put down to the hard work and leadership of the Football Ferns, particularly head coach Tony Readings.

"We are grateful to High Performance Sport NZ for recognising the progression of women's football over the past four to six years and providing funding to help us improve further.

"The Football Ferns have built a strong evidence-based case over the past campaign to highlight their improvement on the international stage and benchmark against other leading nations and it is a great reward for the hard work of Tony and his team," said de Jong.

The gradual improvement culminated in the Football Ferns making the quarter-finals of the London Olympics, the first New Zealand women's team to progress past the group stage of a world event.

New Zealand Football's high performance strategic plan outlined a need to move toward more effective professional coaching and support, with access to consistent and high level competition.

"The reality of the Football Ferns' situation is that they have to travel to play quality international matches, and that travel costs money," said de Jong.

The funding is up for review in 2014, in time for the next FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada and the Olympic Games in 2016.

In addition to the cash injection, women's football will have better access to athlete carding, Prime Minister's Scholarships and performance enhancement grants.

With 15 of the 18 Football Ferns that played in the London Olympic Games now plying their trade overseas the funding will also benefit the next tier of international players coming through.

The High Performance Sport NZ funding is ring-fenced for women's football and is separate to the Sport New Zealand funding for the Whole of Football Programme.

Tall Blacks miss out

The Tall Blacks have missed out on funding from High Performance Sporting New Zealand next year.

"It's obviously very disappointing for us,'' said Basketball New Zealand boss Iain Potter. "We had hoped to provide our men with the best possible chance of beating Australia in the FIBA Oceania qualifying series next year and taking the zone's top seeding into the World Cup in Spain in 2014.

"We know we're still capable of that, but this makes things a whole lot harder.''

The funding decision follows a year in which the Tall Blacks failed to qualify for the London Olympics. Captain Kirk Penney and forward Tom Abercrombie both missed the qualifying tournament in Venezuela through injury.

"While we firmly believe the future of the Tall Blacks looks bright in terms of coaching and playing talent, the cold hard fact is that HPSNZ [High Performance Sporting NZ] funding rewards past results, and we fell short of our target this year,'' said Potter.

'It's very difficult to win Olympic medals or achieve a top-six placing when playing a truly international sport like basketball - but we have done it before and we believe we can do it again.

"We've been here before, and I know coach Nenad Vucinic, his players and the whole basketball community will want to prove that we are a genuine international competitor.''

With Oceania claiming two spots in the 24-team World Cup draw, New Zealand, ranked 18th in the world, is virtually assured of qualifying.

Modest increase for cycling

BikeNZ could be forced to make cuts, but says it is committed to building on its success over the last four years after today's High Performance Sport New Zealand funding announcement.

Cycling is regarded as a `tier one' sport, alongside yachting and rowing, but will receive only a modest increase of $15.6 million over the next four years, up from $15.3m for 2009-2012.

The organisation hoped for more funding for its Olympic programme based on its growth across several disciplines.

"We fully appreciate the challenging job of High Performance Sport New Zealand in this current economic environment,'' said BikeNZ chief executive Kieran Turner.

"We look forward to continuing our close working relationship with HPSNZ over the next two years as we move to a centralised programme for riders and staff at the AvantiDrome in Cambridge.

"Our extraordinary growth along with the fluid and changing environment we are operating in will allow us to review our progress with HPSNZ in 2014 with a view to increase our funding for the crucial final two years leading into Rio.''

Mr Turner said that the growth of BikeNZ's high performance programme, rising costs and the increased outlay for the Olympic qualification process currently equates to a significantly greater spend than what they will receive from HPSNZ.

"We will look closely at the numbers and make some hard decisions around our overall structure, which programmes we are able to commit to and the priorities in terms of the level of support.

"In some ways we are victims of our growth and the investment we have made. In the last four years BikeNZ has won 16 elite world championship medals on the track alone. We have seven riders or teams currently in the top five in the world across three different codes, and a further five in the top 16 who are benchmarking strongly against Olympic medallist at the same stage.

"Clearly under the current funding levels we will need to prioritise our investment because we won't have the resource to deliver across all these riders and teams.''

He said the focus for 2013 is the shift to Cambridge which will impact on BikeNZ activities and therefore Mr Turner said the organisation welcomes the review in 2014.

"That is what has happened in the last two years leading into London when we had our men's and women's sprint programmes developing world class results. The review in 2014 will allow us to make a case for increased spend.''

Mr Turner said BikeNZ will also need to look for other funding sources if it is to provide opportunities and pathways for some of the young talented riders who have the potential to be contenders in 2016 and 2020.

"This is at a time when our cyclists continue to deliver outstanding results across all disciplines, with more New Zealand medals won in the last three years at junior and senior world championships than all preceding years. Likewise the popularity of cycling continues to grow, as New Zealand's third largest recreational activity.

"We would like to think that this will be seen as a valuable commodity for commercial partnerships.''

Athletics happy with small increase in funding

Athletics New Zealand chief executive Scott Newman says he is satisfied with the $900,000 funding increase announced today by High Performance Sport NZ.

Athletics, which provided a gold medal at the London Olympics via shotputter Val Adams, is regarded as a `tier two' sport and has had its funding increased from $6.7million to $7.6m for the next four years.

Newman said his organisation had applied for more than the $900,000 increase received but understood the reasons behind the decision.

"It's obviously satisfying to remain as a core targeted sport, that's your starting point, and we're pretty confident that our programme has developed well over the past four years and I think that confidence has shown in the small increase in investment,'' he said.

He added that the youth programme and talent among younger athletes were reasons for optimism.

"We're obviously very lucky to have a very good core crop of athletes and over the last few years we've had our strongest results at both world youth championships and world junior championship level, so as well as the Vals and perhaps the Jacko Gills that we hear about often, there's also a core crop of juniors coming through alongside them so that gives us confidence in the future.''

Cycling to make cuts but commits to building on success

BikeNZ boss Kieran Turner is resigned to making cuts but insists his organisation is committed to building on its success over the last four years.

Cycling is regarded as a `tier one' sport, alongside yachting and rowing, but will receive only a modest increase of $300,000, from $15.3 million to $15.6 million over the next four years, High Performance Sport New Zealand announced today.

The organisation hoped for more funding for its Olympic programme based on its growth across several disciplines.

We've run through various scenarios but we still have to sit down with HPSNZ in the New Year and work through some of those,'' Turner said.

We've got a large depth of young talent coming through and we'll want to see how those riders are tracking in 2014, whether we have the ability to put some further funding support around them if they look like medal potential as well... there's a few unknowns.''

Turner said that the growth of BikeNZ's high performance programme, rising costs and the increased outlay for the Olympic qualification process equated to a significantly greater spend than what they will receive from HPSNZ.

We will look closely at the numbers and make some hard decisions around our overall structure, which programmes we are able to commit to and the priorities in terms of the level of support.

In some ways we are victims of our growth and the investment we have made. In the last four years BikeNZ has won 16 elite world championship medals on the track alone. We have seven riders or teams currently in the top five in the world across three different codes, and a further five in the top 16 who are benchmarking strongly against Olympic medallist at the same stage.

Clearly under the current funding levels we will need to prioritise our investment because we won't have the resource to deliver across all these riders and teams.''

He said the focus for next year was the shift to a centralised base in Cambridge. He added that he hoped to cash in on sponsors to help make up the funding shortfall.

- APNZ

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