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$4.9 Million Investment In High Performance Sport

23 November 2007
SPARC Announces $4.9 Million Investment In High Performance Sport
Ongoing Commitment to Winter Sports, Canoeing Highlight Package

SPARC (Sport & Recreation New Zealand) today announced that it will invest $4.9 million in the high performance projects of 15 different sports in 2008 and beyond.

SPARC received applications from 22 organisations for project-based high performance investment, the vast majority of which targets future world championships, Olympic and Commonwealth Games performances.

The contestable investment package is highlighted by ongoing, long-term commitments to New Zealand’s winter sports programmes, including the increasingly popular sport of free-skiing, where New Zealand athletes are steadily climbing up the world rankings. Including 2007, SPARC has earmarked $2 million to the Winter Performance Project over four years, including $500,000 in 2008.

The package also includes a continuation of a four-year, $2 million commitment to canoeing, a portion of which is targeted for specific world-class athletes, including Ben Fouhy and Steve Ferguson, among others.

Paralympics New Zealand will also receive increased investment, from $600,000 in 2007 to $750,000 in 2008. SPARC has deferred its decision on investment in Bowls New Zealand until the World Bowls Championships have been contested in January 2008.

The level and the terms of SPARC’s investment vary from project to project, depending on the nature of the programme, performance outcomes and the project’s proposed duration.

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In addition to the $4.9 million SPARC has earmarked for contestable investment, further investment of approximately $3 million has been set aside for individual athlete Performance Enhancement Grants and performance services delivered through the New Zealand Academy of Sport, bringing the total investment in these sports to $7.9 million.

SPARC invests an additional $11 million in the high performance programmes of nine targeted sports. Those sports include cycling, rowing, swimming and athletics, among others.

Overall, SPARC is investing approximately $32 million in high performance sport in 2008, including Prime Minister’s Scholarships, Performance Enhancement Grants and NZAS Performance Services.

The level of SPARC’s investment in high performance sport has risen steadily in recent years. In 2002, SPARC invested $17 million in high performance sport. In 2008, high performance investment is nearly double that amount.

The vast majority of sports that applied for high performance investment, including those whose applications were not successful, will continue to receive SPARC investment through other channels, including sport development and other grassroots programmes, all of which are separate from SPARC’s high performance investment and focus on such areas as coach development, growing participation rates and volunteerism.

Applications for support from the contestable investment pool were judged on their relative merits and were evaluated based on the sports’ ability to compete in events such as the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Paralympics and sport specific world championships.

``International elite sport has developed rapidly in recent decades, with more investment and higher standards of professionalism being the norm,’’ said Peter Miskimmin, General Manager of Sector Development at SPARC. ``As a result, we are focusing our resources in order to build depth in sports capable of achieving results that align with our mission.

``In some cases, these were extremely difficult decisions to make when we considered the impact on sport organisations that may not receive all of the investment they sought,’’ added Miskimmin. ``But it’s important to keep in mind that we provide substantial financial investment to these organisations that is separate from our high performance investment.

``One of our overriding goals is to give as many teams and athletes as possible the opportunity to qualify and prepare for the Beijing Olympics and for world championships scheduled in 2008.’’

SPARC is the Crown entity responsible for promoting, encouraging and supporting sport and physical recreation in New Zealand. For more details, visit

Note: Chart of Contestable Investment follows this release.

SPARC Contestable Investment in National Sport Organisations (calendar years, in dollars)

Sport 2007 2008 2009 2010

Badminton 1 200,000 250,000
Basketball (m) 350,000 250,000
Basketball (w) 400,000 350,000
Beach Volleyball 1 50,000 50,000*
Bowls 300,000 TBD**
Canoeing 1,2 500,000 500,000 500,000 500,000
Equestrian 505,000 525,000
Hockey (m) 375,000 400,000
Hockey (w) 375,000 400,000
Paralympics 1 600,000 750,000
Roller Sports 100,000 50,000
Shooting 1 200,000 200,000
Softball – Black Sox 1,2 200,000 200,000 200,000
Squash 1,2 300,000 300,000 300,000 300,000
Surf Lifesaving 100,000 150,000
Synchronised Swimming 0 30,000
Weightlifting 50,000 50,000
Winter Sport 1,2 500,000 500,000 500,000 500,000

Total 5,405,000 4,905,000


1 2008 commitment approved during 2006 contestable HP investment process.
2 2009 and 2010 support is subject to satisfying agreed performance milestones.
* Investment will come from a separate talent development fund. 2009 and 2010 investment in most sports has not yet been determined.
** Amount to be finalised following World Bowls Championships.

SPARC is the crown entity responsible for promoting, encouraging and supporting sport and physical recreation in New Zealand. For more details, visit

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