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Budget 2003 - Sport and recreation funding

Pre-budget announcement - Sport and recreation funding to increase

Sport and recreation funding is to receive a budget boost to $34 million in the coming year to lift participation and performance in sport and physical activity. Budget 2003 will also see an extra $11 million going towards additional sports coordinators in secondary schools, Sport and Recreation Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

“This budget signals our continued commitment to implementing the recommendations from the 2001 sport, fitness and leisure review through $125 million in spending over the next four years,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Work by government agency SPARC (Sport and Recreation New Zealand) is focused around the government’s goal of increasing participation in sport and physical activity. We know there are considerable health and social benefits in this. SPARC also has a focus on supporting our most talented athletes to fulfil their potential,” Trevor Mallard said.

This year signals an increase in base annual funding to $20 million for SPARC to implement the 2001 review recommendations, following funding of $2 million in 2001-02 and $7 million in 2002-03. Funding will then increase to $30 million in 2004-05, $35 million in 2005-06, and $40 million in 2006-07 and thereafter. This money is in addition to current lotteries funding.

The extra $11 million for sports co-ordinators in secondary schools will come from Vote Education. Their role is to help schools provide creative recreation and sport programmes for their students, and to provide links with the community.

“The levels of fitness and physical activity of young people are falling. This initiative will improve the quality and quantity of support to schools to address this decline. We want to engender a lifelong interest and participation in physical activity,” Trevor Mallard said.

Total government funding to the sport and recreation sector in 2003-04 is $34 million and includes investment in the following areas:

$5 million for Prime Minister’s scholarships which provide financial support for athletes and coaches; $4 million towards competitive programmes for elite athletes; close to $20 million for SPARC to invest in sporting organisations and to improve physical participation rates of all New Zealand; increase in funding to the New Zealand Sports Drug Agency to $1.3 million to enable it to carry out its drug testing programmes; an appropriation of $3 million to offset the impact from lotteries profits which are predicted to decrease.

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