Basketball New Zealand receives a cash assist

BRENDON EGAN
Last updated 05:01 19/12/2013

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Basketball New Zealand will be smiling widely today after being one of the major winners in High Performance Sport New Zealand's funding allocation for next year.

Twelve months ago, BBNZ were in the doldrums after missing out on funding for 2013 from the government-funded agency.

They received an early Christmas present yesterday, being awarded $200,000 for 2014 to support the national men's team to a top 16 finish at the World Cup in Spain. The funding can also be used to cover players insurance in cases where international players can be released to play for New Zealand, notably Steven Adams, who competes in the NBA with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"Our investment will give them a leg up to see what they can do," HPSNZ chief executive Alex Baumann said.

"Basketball NZ presented us with a plan focused on international competition in the leadup to the 2014 World Cup and we are investing in that campaign."

From 2014, a further $2.2 million a year will be invested in sports as New Zealand looks to build on their outstanding showing at last year's London Olympics, where they won 13 medals, including six golds.

With the additional $2.2m, HPSNZ will now be providing $33.7m a year to national sports organisations to support 13 targeted sports and 13 campaign sports.

"The results once again demonstrate that our strategy of targeting sports with the potential to win on the world stage is a successful formula," Baumann said.

Investment in BikeNZ's high performance programme will go from $3.9m in 2013 to $4.3m a year, with Rowing New Zealand receiving $4.8m a year (up from $4.6m). Yachting New Zealand will get $2.8m in 2014 (the same amount it received in 2013), but this will increase in 2015 and 2016 to $3.2m a year.

Baumann said the extra investment capped off what had been an excellent year, which has seen 20 New Zealand athletes or teams stand on the podium at world championships in Olympic disciplines, 12 Paralympic world champions, and many other Kiwi winners on the world stage.

To achieve HPSNZ's goal of 14 or more medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics and eight to 12 gold medals at the Rio Paralympics, and wins at world championships for non-Olympic sports, Baumann said it was imperative the organisation remained committed to helping New Zealand athletes perform to their best.

Extra investment has also been confirmed for Paralympics New Zealand's high performance programme and for its games delivery in Rio. They will receive $1.7m in funding next year, up from $1.4m this year.

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Several tier two sports have benefited from the funding allocation with Athletics New Zealand gaining an increase of $150,000 for next year. This will help the organisation recruit a world-class throws coach to bring along promising young talents like shot putters Jacko Gill and Tom Walsh.

The women's rugby sevens team, who were a dominant force this year, will become a tier three targeted sport and will pick up an extra $100,000 to bring HPSNZ's annual investment in their programme to $900,000.

HPSNZ will also provide a further $250,000 to help Equestrian Sports New Zealand establish a "horsepower" fund to enable top Kiwi eventing riders to secure promising young horses for their owners.

New Zealand Cricket have been granted $1m over the next two years as they look to try to win the 2015 Cricket World Cup, which will be contested on home soil and in Australia.

HPSNZ is supporting a number of specific campaigns and individual athletes with one of two year funding, including golfing starlet Lydia Ko, as she makes the transition from the amateur to professional ranks, leading into the Rio Olympics. Baumann said there would come a time when Ko's earnings as a professional would mean she no longer needed HPSNZ's financial support.

Investment has also been allocated to assist bowls, squash, Olympic weightlifting and shooting with their Commonwealth Games campaigns.

- Fairfax Media

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