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New Zealand to Support Sports in Samoa

15 March 2006

New Zealand to Support Sports in Samoa

New Zealand will help Samoa to strengthen its sports sector through a joint project announced today by Sport and Recreation Minister Trevor Mallard and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters.

The Samoa Sports Support project (SSSP) will be developed over three years, with New Zealand government funding of $374,400. Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) officials met last week with counterparts in Samoa’s Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC) to shape the project.

Trevor Mallard said SPARC and MESC would be working closely together to develop and enhance the capacity and capability of sports systems in Samoa.

"The aim is to exchange knowledge, expertise and experience between the two countries. This will allow the development of coaches, athletes and administrators, both in schools and in the wider community in Samoa," said Mr Mallard.

"Working closely with Samoan officials will also enhance our understanding and development of initiatives directed at the Pacific Island community in New Zealand."

The Samoa Sports Support Project is underpinned by the New Zealand government’s commitment to the two nations working together under the 1962 Treaty of Friendship.

Winston Peters, who is visiting Samoa this week, said the project would be funded through New Zealand’s international aid and development agency, NZAID and administered by SPARC.

"This is a good example of the close relationship between Samoa and New Zealand, and how the friendship can be deepened through a shared enthusiasm for sport and its benefits," said Mr Peters.

The SPARC and MESC officials will now begin the process of developing a three-year project plan.

ENDS

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