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SPARC fosters Rowing NZ’s Beijing Olympic hopes

3 June 2005 Media Release
SPARC fosters Rowing NZ’s Beijing Olympic hopes

Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) is fostering Rowing New Zealand’s hopes for the Beijing Olympic Games by investing $4.5 million in their high performance programme over the next four years.

SPARC is also investing a further $1 million in Rowing NZ’s talent development programme over a four year period aimed at identifying and producing champions for the future.

In addition, Rowing NZ will also be eligible to receive a further high performance investment of $1 million if they achieve key targets at the 2005, 2006 and 2007 World Championships and at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Rowing NZ’s athletes and coaches are also eligible to receive financial assistance through Prime Minister’s Athlete and Coach Scholarships and Performance Enhancement Grants. Carded athletes and coaches receive sport science and sport medicine support through SPARC’s high performance network, the New Zealand Academy of Sport.

SPARC General Manager Performance, Katie Sadleir, said that the investment in Rowing was in line with SPARC’s long-term approach to delivering results on the world stage.

“Rowing has been a regular Olympic medal winner and was one of New Zealand’s most successful sports in Athens. We are confident that we will see a return on our investment in Beijing and beyond,” Sadleir said.

Sadleir said that setting targets and offering incentives would ensure key sports like Rowing NZ were focussed on winning even more medals at future events.

“New Zealand rowing has a proud record of success on the international stage. I am delighted that SPARC’s increased investment reflects their faith in our infrastructure and our ability to deliver,” said Rowing NZ Chief Executive, Craig Ross.

Ross said that SPARC’s investment had allowed Rowing NZ to appoint Chris Nilsson to the position of Elite Project coach. Nilsson was assistant coach to USA coaching guru Mike Teti, guiding the USA men’s eight to a Gold medal winning performance at the Athens Olympic Games.

Nilsson, who returned home to New Zealand in March, will be working alongside Rowing NZ head coach, Richard Tonks, and will have particular responsibility for coaching the men’s four which finished fifth place in Athens.

Nilsson introduced Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell to the sport of rowing. In 1996, Nilsson coached the twins to seventh place at the World Junior Championships in Scotland before he departed overseas to extend his coaching career.

Ends

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