Top Sportsman Slams Alliance Sports Policy
Saturday 23rd Oct 1999
Media Release -- Other
The Alliance's Sports policy has today come under fire from Olympic medallist and ACT candidate Dick Quax who says the party's idea to set up sports academies in remote parts of the country is '"bizarre beyond belief". "The Sports Academies idea floated by Alliance leader Jim Anderton is a perfect example of why politicians should be kept away from sport," said Dick Quax. "The notion that you could have a Sports Academy at such out of the way places as the East Coast of the North Island is nonsense. Sports Academies require a large number of very highly specialised personnel to staff them. Coaches, sports medicine doctors physical therapists, sports scientists, and nutritionists as well as support staff. In addition there is a requirement for top class facilities for athletes training. "I have visited dozens of Sports Academies and sports training centres around the world and I know that the money needed to set one up is huge." "My costing on setting up just the seven proposed by the Alliance is at the very least $30 - 35 million." "I love the East Coast of the North Island and it's a great place to go on holiday but it just doesn't have the people or facilities to become the centre for high performance sport." Mr Quax also criticised the Alliance proposal to introduce laws to provide for sports quotas on free to air television. "I'd love to be at the meeting where Anderton tells the Rugby Union that their product is worth only half its market value because he's directing their commercial activities." "I'm sure the last thing New Zealanders want is Jim Anderton telling them which are the significant sports events," said Dick Quax.
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