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Burmester and McIlroy join Pinnacle

2 November 2006

Burmester and McIlroy join Pinnacle

Top-rated athletes Moss Burmester and Kate McIlroy are the latest to join the ranks of the Pinnacle sports mentor programme.

Pinnacle is a New Zealand organisation, backed by Hyundai, which provides young athletes with a range of professional and personal skills to help them reach world-best status.

McIlroy, 25, of Wellington, was NZ Sportswoman of the Year and World Mountain
Running Champion in 2005. She has now converted to 3000m steeplechase with an eye on the 2008 Olympics.

Burmester, 25, of Tauranga, won gold at this year's Commwealth Games in 200m
butterfly and bronze in 100m. He is based on the North Shore as he works towards the Olympics.

As Pinnacle athletes they join Andrew Murdoch of Kerikeri, Olympic laser sailor working towards Beijing 2008, and Andrea Fountain of Auckland, world championship wakeboarder.

Established one year ago, Pinnacle is recognised by high-performance coaches for its benefits to elite athletes in organisation of their lives and in positive mental preparation; areas crucial for success but not addressed in current sports high performance programmes.

Building on the athlete's physical conditioning and their technical training in their sport, Pinnacle mentors a range of skills outside the field of competition, which are often the difference between success and failure at the highest level.

The programme is based on 12 Pillars, covering everything from media and sponsors to mental motivation and the price of fame.

The Pinnacle programme considers these to be skills essential as athletes take the step to true professionalism, and which conversely have often been the undoing of competitors as off-field issues impact on their performance.

Mentoring comes from within Pinnacle and Hyundai and from a range of outside experts. Athletes also receive a new Hyundai vehicle and some financial help.

Typically they remain in Pinnacle for about 18 months building to a world championship or similar title bid.

Although Hyundai is a strong sponsor of sports and sportspeople in this country, Pinnacle is partly a philanthropic undertaking by Hyundai Automotive NZ and its owner the Giltrap Group with the objective of helping New Zealanders succeed on the world stage and creating more positive roles models for the nation.

An advisory board to select Pinnacle athletes comprises Barbara Kendall, Olympic boardsailor; Simon Peterson, CEO of Sport Auckland and Chairman of Paralympics NZ; Hyundai executives Philip Eustace and Howard Spencer and Pinnacle CEO Ian Miles of Christchurch.

Pinnacle covers all sports; currently many applicants are from individual sports rather than teams but every application is closely considered on its merits.

Pinnacle has received dozens of applications over the past year.

Application forms are available from Hyundai dealers. Information is at


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