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New name for Sport and Recreation New Zealand

Monday 13th May 2002

For immediate release


New name for Sport and Recreation New Zealand

From mid-June Sport and Recreation New Zealand will be called SPARC, said its CEO Nick Hill. "We were planning to start using the name at the same time we released our strategy for the sport and physical recreation sector in June," Mr Hill said.

"It's got action, it's got activity and it gets things going - that's what we're all about."

Staff at the organisation, which was formed following the merger of the Hillary Commission, the Sports Foundation, and the policy arm of the Office of Tourism and Sport, were told about the new name last week.

"I'm really excited that SPARC is out there now, because it's a great name to describe what sport and physical recreation in this country needs.

For a start we've got our high-performance unit the New Zealand Academy of Sport. They're already putting the SPARC back into our top athletes, coaches and teams, and they want the academy network to have an impact as early as the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

And on the physical activity side, while we're a highly active country, statistics are showing some disturbing trends. If we don't get people out there doing 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity, the costs to our health system will be huge."

In addition SPARC has a large sports development and policy, monitoring and research role.

"Sports Development is about making sure there are pathways for people to stay involved in sports and physical recreation for their whole life, despite their lifestyle changing. So you might start out at school, move into being a competitive player, take up coaching and end up as an official or on the board of a sport.

SPARC plans to launch its strategies in mid-June, and Mr Hill says people should expect SPARC to do things differently.

"We've got a huge job to do with limited resources, and so we're going to have to be very strategic. We want a healthy active country and we want our teams and athletes to win, so we're going to have to make some changes."


Contact for more information: Belinda Milnes, Manager Communications and Marketing (0274) 802 447 Jayne Harray, Communications Advisor ph: (04) 496 3978 or (025) 953 349

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