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SPARC helps Bowls NZ gear up for Melbourne 2006

13 July 2005

SPARC helps Bowls NZ gear up for Melbourne 2006

Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) is to invest $669,000 in Bowls New Zealand’s high performance programme to June 2006, with a particular focus on the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in March next year.

Bowls New Zealand will also receive $378,000 over a two-year period for their sport development programme and a further $100,000 will go toward a Director of Coaching position at Bowls NZ over the same period.

Bowls New Zealand athletes and coaches will also have access to $178,900 this year through Prime Minister’s Athlete Scholarships and Performance Enhancement Grants. Carded athletes and coaches receive sport science and sport medicine support through SPARC’s high performance network, the New Zealand Academy of Sport.

An additional $30,000 has been allocated for the World Champion of Champions event in Christchurch in November this year.

SPARC Chief Executive, Nick Hill, said that Bowls New Zealand’s consistently strong performance in recent years had been a major reason behind SPARC’s increase in funding.

“We have high hopes for bowls at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games and we’re confident they will win medals for New Zealand,” said Hill.

Hill said that SPARC’s investment was also geared towards supporting players at all levels.

“While we want to win medals at major events, we also want to encourage people of all skill levels to be active. Bowls New Zealand has a high player participation rate which is why we are investing in their sport development and coaching programmes,” said Hill.

Bowls New Zealand Chief Executive, Kerry Clark, said that SPARC’s commitment to the sport’s high performance programme was fantastic.

“After only securing one medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games we took a long hard look at ourselves and set about improving our high performance programme. The turn-around in the sport at elite level has had a tremendous impact on the sport at all levels,” said Clark.

Bowls New Zealand achieved medals in five out of eight disciplines at the World Bowls Championships in 2000. They won four medals out of six disciplines at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and most recently achieved six medals out of eight disciplines at the World Bowls Championships in 2004.

“SPARC’s investment allows Bowls New Zealand to put in place everything from the foundations to the finishing touches in order to achieve our sporting ambitions,” said Clark.

ENDS

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