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SPARC invests in NZ bobsleigh team

8th April 2008

Media release

SPARC invests in NZ bobsleigh team for 2010 Winter Olympics

A talent identification project funded by the government agency Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) has resulted in a nationwide search for strong male athletes to form a New Zealand bobsleigh team that would compete at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Three-time Olympian Dr Angus Ross is coordinating the project and believes that New Zealand has every chance of success.

``Our aim is to be the team with the fastest start. We have analysed past Olympic bobsleigh results and the teams that push the fastest at the start tend to be placed in the top four.’’

``We have had a high calibre of athletes interested in taking part in this project and we are now on the search to see who else is available to be part of the team. We are after athletes with considerable size, power and acceleration,’’ says Dr Ross.

There will be trials taking place in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin on April 19th and 20th. The team will initially consist of eight athletes with four being selected next year to go to the 2009 World Championships at Lake Placid in the US.

``This is one of the talent identification projects that SPARC is working on to ensure we are developing athletes for the future. Despite the sport not having a strong history in New Zealand, the facts and figures show we have the ability to excel in it,’’ says SPARC’s acting chief executive Peter Miskimmin.

``We have phased the investment and have set performance indicators to ensure we are on target to perform at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. The first phase involves searching for athletes that have the ability to compete and are willing to commit to the team,’’ said Miskimmin.

SPARC has invested in other talent identification projects with sports such as Volleyball NZ and Swimming NZ.


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