Funding increase for successful sports

Basketball NZ has received a $200,000 funding increase ahead of next year's World Cup in Spain. Photo / Getty
Basketball NZ has received a $200,000 funding increase ahead of next year's World Cup in Spain. Photo / Getty

New Zealand's most successful sports will receive a funding boost ahead of the Rio Olympics, while basketball was another winner from today's High Performance Sport NZ investment announcement.

From 2014, a further $2.2 million will be invested, providing $33.7m a year to support 13 targeted sports and 18 campaign sports, with the tier one group again benefactors.

That sees investment in BikeNZ's high performance programme going from $3.9m in 2013 to $4.3m a year, while Rowing NZ will receive $4.8m a year (up from $4.6m) and Yachting NZ set to get $2.8m in 2014, the same amount received this year but increasing to $3.2m in 2015 and 2016.

After a year in which 20 New Zealand athletes or teams stood on the podium at world championships in Olympic disciplines, HPSNZ chief executive Alex Baumann backed the targeting of successful sports.

"In 2013, we had nine world champions in Olympic disciplines. That put New Zealand eighth in the world on the gold medal count,'' he said.

"There have also been many other incredible performances in 2013, including from athletes such as Lydia Ko and Andrew Nicholson, the Black Sox men's softball team and the Football Ferns.

"These results once again demonstrate that our strategy of targeting sports with the potential to win on the world stage is a successful formula.''

Aside from the top tier, Basketball NZ was a big winner, receiving $200,000 from the national funding agency after being left out in the cold in previous years.

The money will be used to support the Tall Blacks to a top 16 finish at the World Cup in Spain and can also cover insurance for cases like Steven Adams at Oklahoma City, where international players can be released to play for New Zealand.

"We did not support Basketball NZ last year because we did not have confidence that they were tracking towards the Olympic Games in 2020,'' Baumann said. "However, the Tall Blacks have qualified for the World Cup and they have a number of promising young players in their ranks.''

In recognition of the increasing strength of its throwing programme, with Valerie Adams now joined by Tom Walsh and Jacko Gill, extra investment is going to Athletics NZ to help the organisation recruit a world-class throwing coach.

HPSNZ will also provide $250,000 to help Equestrian Sports New Zealand establish a "horsepower'' fund to help top Kiwi eventing riders secure promising young horses for their owners.

Those two sports should help HPSNZ achieve its goal of 14 or more medals at the Rio Olympics, as will increased funding for women's sevens, which is set to join the Olympic programme.

Investment has been allocated to help bowls, squash, Olympic weightlifting and shooting with their Commonwealth Games campaigns.

"For some sports, the Commonwealth Games is their pinnacle event,'' Baumann said. "We're also pleased to support sports where New Zealand has traditionally had a strong showing at the Commonwealth Games.''

Baumann said HPSNZ was also supporting a number of specific campaigns and individual athletes, such at Lydia Ko, who is steadily building towards Rio.

"Having Lydia turn professional is great for the sport and we have a role in supporting her through that transition from amateur to professional as she eyes Rio.

"It's likely over time that Ko's earnings as a professional will mean she no longer needs our financial support, and we're continuing to talk to New Zealand Golf about that.''

HPSNZ will also invest an additional $100,000 in cricket in 2014, taking the sport's total funding to $500,000, a figure which will be matched the following year as the Black Caps aim to win the World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.


Full investment figures from High Performance Sport NZ funding for 2014

Tier one targeted

• Bike: $4.3m (+$400,000)
• Rowing: $4.8m (+$200,000)
• Yachting: $2.8m (same)

Tier two targeted
• Athletics: $2.05m (+$150,000)
• Equestrian: $2.05m (+$250,000)
• Rugby sevens (men): $1.2m (same)
• Netball: $1.2m (same)

Tier three targeted
• Canoe: $1.2m (same)
• Triathlon: $1.4m (same)
• Hockey (women): $1.3m (same)
• Rugby sevens (women): $900,000 (+$100,000)

Targeted other
• Paralympics: $1.7m (+$300,000)
• Winter: $1.7m (-$115,000)

Campaign
• Swimming: $1.5m (+$100,000)
• Football (women): $950,000 (+$150,000)
• Hockey (men): $1m (+$200,000)
• Cricket: $500,000 (+$100,000)
• Rugby League: $0 (-$400,000)
• Bowls: $280,000 (-$20,000)
• Squash: $275,000 (same)
• Softball (men): $250,000 (+$20,000)
• Surf Life Saving: $180,000 ($30,000)
• Golf: TBC
• Canoe Slalom: TBC
• Boxing: $119,000 (+$29,000)
• Taekwondo: $18,000 (+$1000)
• Basketball: $200,000 (+200,000)
• Olympic Weightlifting: $64,000 (+$64,000)
• Shooting: $81,000 (+81,000)

- APNZ

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