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Academy of Sport celebrates spectacular year

MEDIA RELEASE FROM THE NEW ZEALAND ACADEMY OF SPORT SOUTH ISLAND (NZAS SI)

Academy of Sport celebrates spectacular year

The New Zealand Academy of Sport South Island (ASI) celebrated the success of South Island athletes at its annual meeting in Dunedin earlier in the week.

Christchurch business and sports leader Peter Cox, who will continue as Chairman of the ASI Board, said at the annual meeting the 2007-08 year has been the biggest yet for the Academy.

The ASI co-ordinates, manages and delivers high quality athlete and coach services across the South Island, providing a world-class training and preparation environment for elite athletes.

ASI Chief Executive Kereyn Smith presented an overview of the 2007-08 year at the meeting, one which saw international success for many New Zealand athletes, but also for the Academy. It produced a record income of $3.7 million in 2007, an increase of $1.3 million on the previous year. She acknowledged the significant support received through community sponsorships and business and sporting partnerships

Over 400 elite athletes and 38 elite athlete coaches based in the South Island receive services which cover sports medicine, science, athlete performance life style advice, scholarships, facility and technology access and training advice, plus newly evolving performance analysis capability.

Athlete and coach feedback was that the services and support from ASI has a positive impact on their performance.

The ASI has become increasingly innovative with its talent development, transfer and identification initiatives to fast-track athlete performance and success.

The ASI successfully launched the Centre of Excellence in the Christchurch QEII Stadium last year, in partnership with QEII management, the Christchurch City Council, and sports organisations.

Already attracting like-minded sub-tenants of providers and national coaches, as has the ASI's head office in Logan Park Dunedin, the Centre of Excellence at QEII has also focused on the performance needs of Paralympics athletes.

In the provinces, the ASI built up the Winter Sports "Hub" in Central Otago, attracting the Snow Sports New Zealand offices to Wanaka for an essential critical mass of effective winter services and support. And it provided welcome momentum for Invercargill with the new Southland Resource Centre complementing the world-class Southland Velodrome.

The appointment of Ashley Light as Winter Performance Programme Director strengthened the winter programme's focus and cohesion, as did the ASI's "aim high" coach recruitment policy, successfully attracting world-leading international skeleton, bobsleigh and snowboard experts. The progress our athletes made in the northern winter season has proved testament to the investment.

These services all provide the support and cohesion athletes need to sustain their training and performance, and to produce the world successes we've enjoyed during the year, particularly the record-breaking achievements of Olympic and Paralympic athletes in Beijing, and the large medal haul at the World Bowls Championships in Christchurch.

I

The focus now is on converting athletes with top eight finishes into medal winners, at the same time accelerating the performance of other emerging athletes.

"To build on that, the ASI has developed a new organisational strategy to 2012 and beyond, to ensure it plays its part in achieving the targets and goals in SPARC's High Performance Strategy 2012," Mr Cox said.

"The challenges for our athletes to succeed on the global sporting stage are significant and growing. To support their quest for excellence, we too have to deliver outstanding levels of support. ASI is committed to ensuring the organisation reflects the values of excellence, leadership, innovation and quality in everything it does," he added.


New Zealand Academy of Sport South Island (ASI) Board members for 2008/09:

Peter Cox - Chair

Dr Selwyn Maister - Deputy Chair

Helen Littleworth

Lois Muir

Dr Clive Matthewson

Mike Piper

Michael Sidey

ENDS

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