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Budget 2006: Funding boost for sport & recreation

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister for Sport and Recreation

Funding boost for sport and recreation

Government funding for sport and recreation is set to increase from $50.8 million in 2005/06 to almost $58 million in 2006/07, Minister for Sport and Recreation Trevor Mallard announced today.

The package, largely announced in previous budgets, boosts funding for elite athletes, regional sports development and active living programmes administered by Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC).

"Sport plays a fundamental role in our national identity. The Labour-led government recognises the importance of not only investing in our elite athletes but investing in lifting the physical activity levels of all New Zealanders, for our health and well being," Trevor Mallard said.

"Through sporting success on the world stage and here at home we showcase our dedication to excellence and our ability to triumph against the odds. If New Zealand is to continue to be competitive on the international stage, we must not waiver in our commitment to elite athlete support programmes or in our support for sport at the grass roots level."

Total sport and recreation funding over the next four years is almost $237 million and includes:
- $10 million invested in national sport organisations over the next four years to further develop the capability of sport at the regional level. This approach is aimed at expanding the participation base and developing emerging talent in the regions;
- $16.2 million over the next four years in funding targeted for direct athlete support through Performance Enhancement Grants;
- SPARC funding of $17.8 million over the next four years to the government’s Healthy Eating – Healthy Action strategy. This will provide increased support for school programmes, early childhood physical activity and the Green Prescription programme.
- $1.2 million over the next four years for the Sports Drug Agency, to go towards new international anti-doping requirements, compliance costs and the domestic education programme.

“It’s clear that a coordinated approach to the wellbeing of New Zealanders, across the health, education, and sport and recreation sectors is essential if we want to see positive shift in physical activity levels, especially with our young people,” Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS

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