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Top coaches awarded Prime Minister's scholarships

Top coaches awarded Prime Minister's scholarships

Ninety-five Prime Minister's High Performance Coach Scholarships have been awarded to support New Zealand's top coaches next year, Sport and Recreation Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

"These scholarships give coaches the opportunity to further develop the skills and experience necessary to become a world class coach," said Trevor Mallard.

"It has been a fantastic year for New Zealand sport, and this government is committed to developing coaches so we continue to get the very best results. Behind most great athletes is a great coach - and so investing in coaches is a smart way to enhance our top athletes of tomorrow."

The scholarship programme, now in its fifth year, gives coaches the opportunity to gain the knowledge and experience needed to inspire our athletes.

The recipients include Dipak Patel who is one of four recipients of a $50,000 Prime Minister's High Performance Coach Scholarship for 2006. Dipak, a high performance cricket coach and ex-New Zealand player, will be visiting Australia, England, India and Pakistan next year to visit their National Cricket Academies. While there he will observe, discuss and learn different technical, tactical and mental spin bowling strategies. With the information and knowledge gained through the scholarship, Dipak and Cricket NZ will investigate developing a spin bowling academy in New Zealand.

The three other recipients of the $50,000 scholarships are Svend Sorensen (Badminton), Shawn Dennis (Basketball), and Justin Trolle (Triathlon). The remaining 118 scholarships - including 27 to be confirmed in January subject to clarification of the original application - are worth up to $10,000 each.

A new category was introduced this year that allows for groups of high performance coaches to apply for professional development opportunities in the up to $10,000 scholarship category. For the 2006 programme, 18 sports have been approved in this category.

Trevor Mallard says the government has committed over $1.15 million to the 2006 programme.

The programme is administered by SPARC's (Sport & Recreation New Zealand) high performance network, the New Zealand Academy of Sport.

ENDS

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