Winners and losers in new funding round

By Michael Brown

New Zealand Rowing will have an increase in budget over the next four years following a successful Olympics. Photo / Brett Phibbs
New Zealand Rowing will have an increase in budget over the next four years following a successful Olympics. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A bit like kids unwrapping their presents at Christmas time, a number of sports will feel delighted, others disappointed and some a little disconnected after the latest round of sports funding was announced today.

High Performance Sport New Zealand announced a slightly different structure to previous cycles with 12 sports fitting into the targeted category and those 12 will receive 81 per cent of the pot of $31 million annually. Athletes or teams in 15 other sports slot into campaign investment and will receive a much smaller slice of the pie and $15 million will also be allocated to individual athletes through things like performance enhancement grants (PEGs) and Prime Minister's scholarships.

Funding breakdown: Where the money went

Inevitably given their success at the London Olympics, rowing ($18.4 million over four years), bike ($15.6 million) and yachting ($11.2 million) sit at the top table of funding and are regarded as tier 1 targeted sports.

Below that are athletics ($7.6 million), equestrian ($7.2 million), men's rugby sevens ($4.8 million) and netball ($4.8 million) in tier 2 and canoe sprint ($4.8 million) triathlon ($5.6 million), women's hockey ($5.2 million), Paralympics ($5.9 million) and Winter Olympics ($6.86 million) in tier 3.

Equestrian (up $4 million), canoe racing (up $1.4 million), women's hockey (up $2.15 million) and rugby sevens (up $4 million), which will be at the Olympics for the first time in Rio, are the big winners whereas swimming, triathlon and men's hockey have had their funding chopped.

But there aren't any big losers and even swimming, which has dropped from being one of the six targeted sports in the last cycle to a campaign sport, won't have their funding slashed.

They have gone from receiving $1.6 million a year over four years to $1.4 million in 2013, after which time things will be re-evaluated. HPSNZ are optimistic the sport will recover on the back of a new board, chief executive and high performance plan as well as new world short course 800m champion Lauren Boyle.

Men's hockey has also lost out after their disappointing showing in London and struggles at the recent Champions Trophy but they will collect $800,000 next year, which is slightly down on previous levels. Their funding will also be re-evaluated after 12 months.

The situation could have been a lot worse for triathlon after their disappointing London campaign and the fact there seems little new talent coming through but the possible addition of a teams race in Rio has seen their funding drop slightly from $6.15 million to $5.6 million over the next four years.

HPSNZ chief executive Alex Baumann said it had been a tricky process working out how much each sport deserved after they presented their high performance plans. HPSNZ, who have an overall budget of $62 million annually, have made no secret of the fact they target sports they think can deliver medals at pinnacle events and that there's little egalitarianism in high performance sport.

"No sport got what they asked for,'' Baumann said. "New Zealand doesn't have the resources that other larger nations have but we are confident that by continuing the targeted investment approach that's been in place since 2006 we can continue to deliver the results New Zealanders want to see.

"New Zealand's next medal and world championship winner will come from the sports we are investing in today.''

Olympic bosses have targeted 14 or more medals at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and 16 or more in 2020 - New Zealand returned with a record-equalling 13 from London.

On top of that, they have set a goal of one or more medals at the 2014 Winter Olympics and between eight and 12 golds at the 2016 Paralympic Games.

A handful of minor sports receive funding but it has largely been ring-fenced for particular athletes, like golfer Lydia Ko, canoe slalom racers Luuka Jones and Mike Dawson, boxer Alexis Pritchard, surfer Paige Hareb, and taekwondo exponent Vaughan Scott.

- APNZ

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