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SPARC Stands Firm On Athletics New Zealand

SPARC Stands Firm On Athletics New Zealand

Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) Chief Executive Nick Hill today took a firm stand regarding SPARC’s recent decision to cease investing in Athletics New Zealand’s sport development programme.

This follows recent criticism in the news media from Athletics New Zealand’s Chief Executive Jeremy Kennerley, over SPARC’s decision to withdraw $125,000 of investment in Athletics.

“Athletics New Zealand has confirmed to us that they are not in a position to have an impact on participation levels in Athletics,” said Hill. “It would be irresponsible of SPARC to invest in outcomes that Athletics New Zealand itself has acknowledged it is not capable of achieving.”

SPARC does not believe this decision will impact the number of people who participate in athletics because athletics programmes across the country are largely organised and controlled by organisations other than Athletics New Zealand.

“Until Athletics New Zealand can demonstrate it has the strategies, structure and programmes to lift participation levels in the sport, we view any further investment in programme development as a poor investment,” said Hill.

Hill emphasised that SPARC remains motivated to work with Athletics New Zealand and confirmed that this decision doesn’t preclude future investment in programme development should Athletics New Zealand demonstrate that it can have an impact on participation rates.

“It’s in our best interest to make sure Athletics New Zealand is a capable and relevant organisation,” added Hill, who emphasised that SPARC’s substantial high performance investment in the Athletics New Zealand is not affected by this decision.

“Nevertheless, we take a similar approach to investing in high performance sport,” added Hill. “We support results-capable high performance programmes that have a professional structure in place to build a deep pool of world-class athletes in the sports that matter to New Zealanders. Programmes that build depth are programmes that are capable of winning Olympic and Commonwealth Games medals.”


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