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Nestlé ensures Paralympics NZ Team are ready for competition

Nestlé ensures Paralympics New Zealand Team are ready for competition

A last minute $18,000 grant from Nestlé New Zealand to the 2011 Paralympics New Zealand team has ensured the eight strong team is fully prepared for the upcoming International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics World Championships.

The Championships, taking place in Christchurch from 21 to 30 January , will see New Zealand take on the best in the world, including South Africa’s famous ‘blade runner’ Oscar Pistorius.

Nestlé has contributed $2250 towards the costs of each New Zealand athlete, which will ensure they can focus on preparing for the event without worrying about a shortfall in funding for uniforms and equipment.

The New Zealand field is particularly strong this year, featuring past Paralympic and Commonwealth Games medallists, as well as a number of younger athletes who will be the future of New Zealand paralympic sport. Kiwi competitors have traditionally done well at paralympic events, winning 12 medals at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and 2011 offers excellent prospects that will be significantly enhanced by this grant.

Paralympics New Zealand Chief Executive Fiona Pickering says this donation is invaluable in enabling these athletes to compete.

“Our athletes have access to limited funding and therefore donations are essential to assist them reach their dream of competing. Whilst competing in New Zealand is a cheaper option than sending a team overseas, there still remain significant costs for the team to compete at these Championships. Fundraising has been particularly tough given recent economic events.

“We can’t thank Nestlé enough for their donation. It really will make the difference on the day.”

Maurice Gunnell, Manager Corporate Services Nestlé New Zealand, says the grant is one they are pleased to be able to make in the hour of need and fits perfectly with the company’s own focus on healthy eating and active lifestyles.

“We put an emphasis on eating well to compete well, which fits in with the Paralympics New Zealand team focus on driving High Performance Sport.

“The nine competitors are competing against a class international field in our own backyard. We want to make sure they have the best possible build up and preparation so they can represent our country to the best of their ability, and hopefully our donation will help go some way towards this.”

There will be over 1000 athletes from over 70 countries competing during the championships. The championships begin January 21 and finish January 30.

ENDS

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