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Elite National Coaches Gain Inaugural Scholarships

Sixty of New Zealand’s leading high performance coaches received inaugural Prime Minister’s Coaches Scholarships today to help them train and inspire potential sporting stars of the future.

Three elite coaches gained scholarships worth $50,000 each and 57 other coaches received scholarships up to $10,000.

Prime Minister Helen Clark said helping support excellence is a major part of the government’s policies.

"Coaches are too often unsung heroes, but they play a vital role in the success of our athletes and sports teams. As a nation, we benefit when our sporting stars do well. Supporting coaches is a way of enhancing the potential of top athletes,” Helen Clark said.

The Prime Minister’s Coach Scholarships were established following the Ministerial report into sport, fitness and leisure which identified the need for greater resources and support for coaches.

Aimed at providing professional development opportunities, the government has committed $1 million dollars to the programme this year. The coach scholarship review panel considered 109 applications from 39 sports.

Sport, Fitness and Leisure Minister Trevor Mallard said the scholarships offered the opportunity for sports and coaches to plan ahead, to identify professional development opportunities that will improve their ability and give them access to the support they need to get there

"Coaching is a skill - it is enhanced by learning and is improved by practise. Many of these scholarship recipients are the backbones of our sporting codes. The two tiers of scholarship aim not only to increase the knowledge of our next national coaches but also to increase the depth and capability of coaches throughout sport,” Trevor Mallard said.

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