As New Zealand comes down from the high of this week's spectacular Netball World Cup victory, the Silver Ferns should be entitled to say: Show me the money.
The Ferns, led by coach Noeline Taurua, claimed a thrilling single-point victory in Monday morning's final against Australia in Liverpool, completing a stunning redemption for a team who finished without a medal in last year's Commonwealth Games.
However, it was later revealed that the Ferns didn't receive a penny in prize-money for their efforts to claim our first World Cup in 16 years.
Compare this to the Black Caps, who (somewhat unfairly) finished as the runners-up in the Cricket World Cup, yet took away $3 million to share among the team, coaches and staff.
Some have argued that the discrepancy in prize money is merely a reflection of the global audiences for the two sports, and the revenues they attract.
However, the World Cup was supported by big crowds and decent TV viewing numbers as England got behind its Roses, the semifinalists who have built a big following since their gold medal effort at the Games.
The tournament also has a strong title sponsor in private medical insurance firm VitalityHealth. Between the sponsor, the gate takings and the TV revenue you would think there would be some money available for a gold medal prize.
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Like the men's cricket and rugby world cups, this event is a pinnacle of the sport — the glare of the spotlight is equally as strong, the weight of expectation equally as heavy, the achievement in victory just as great.
That is why it is disappointing such a fantastic result has yet to be rewarded financially.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday called for the team's own sponsors — including ANZ Bank and business software firm MYOB — to come to the party with a World Cup-winning bonus. Ardern said: "You couldn't have watched that game and say that those players weren't deserving of recognition."
ANZ responded by saying it was happy to contribute to a fund to provide the Ferns with prize money. This is welcome news and it is hoped that other "key stakeholders" join the call.
Most of the Silver Ferns are not fulltime, professional athletes. They are balancing family life, careers and sport. Top players such as Maria Folau earn a decent salary, but much of their earnings comes from sponsorship. Experienced defender Casey Kopua has a fulltime job on top of netball — as do other players — and the charming scenes of her and 3-year-old daughter Maia after the final highlight the parental responsibilities for members of the squad. This makes their achievement all the more remarkable. It is important that this success becomes something to aspire to for the next generations of netballers.
Young players watching their heroes triumph shouldn't have to see them miss out while our male sport stars are paid handsomely. The Silver Ferns have won gold for this country, now they deserve some of their own.