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Pinnacle Programme proves gold at World Rowing Championships

6th September 2011

Pinnacle Programme proves gold at World Rowing Championships

Pinnacle athletes have won gold at the World Rowing Championships held at Bled, Slovenia. Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown successfully defended their women’s pair world champion title to take out the Gold. Hyundai sponsored athletes Peter Taylor and Storm Uru also won Silver in the lightweight double sculls, further testament to the effectiveness of the Pinnacle Programme.

All four have now qualified to compete in the London Olympics in 2012

Juliette and Rebecca are recent additions to the Pinnacle group of High Performance athletes, which helps young New Zealand sports people become world champions. Totally supported by Hyundai New Zealand, Pinnacle plays an important role as mentor for the athletes outside of competitions. The mentoring specifically concentrates on the development of personal, professional and organization skills, essential in providing the mental edge necessary for champion athletes.

Pinnacle supports athletes for a period of 12 – 24 months, with the aim of winning a world title or equivalent at the end of that timeframe.

Juliette Haigh says Pinnacle provides the pair with “a great opportunity to work on areas of our life outside of rowing to allow us to train and prepare for the London Olympics in the best way possible,” while Rebecca says the Pinnacle programme allows them to “develop the necessary level of professionalism and focus required to achieve their rowing goals and fulfill their potential in life.”

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The Pinnacle programme supports several athletes at a time. Currently in the programme alongside the rowing team is rugby league player Elijah Taylor. Past graduates of the programme include Commonwealth Games gold medalist swimmer Moss Burmester, Andrew Murdoch, ranked world number two in Olympic Lasers, and triathlete Debbie Tanner.

Tom Ruddenklau Hyundai New Zealand’s Chief Operating Officer states that ‘We are aware of the tremendous amount of preparation and effort that has gone into this campaign. One of the key roles of the Pinnacle Programme is supporting athletes with the potential to compete at an international level; it clearly works. We look forward welcoming the team’s home and celebrating their success with them’.

Applications to join the Pinnacle programme are accepted from young competitors in any recognised New Zealand sport. For further information visit


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