Unveiling targets for next Olympic Games

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 05:00 23/09/2012
NZ gold medalists
LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax NZ

BLING BLING: New Zealand's gold medalists (rear): Joseph Sullivan and Nathan Cohen (double sculls), Mahe Drysdale (single sculls), Eric Murray and Hamish Bond (pair), and (front), Polly Powrie (women's 470), Lisa Carrington (K1 200m) and Jo Aleh (women's 470).

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Medal targets and funding priorities for the next two Olympic Games should be unveiled this week by High Performance Sport New Zealand.

HPSNZ, the elite arm of Crown entity Sport New Zealand, has provisionally scheduled Thursday for the release of its 2013-2020 strategic plan.

In the wake of London 2012, New Zealand's most successful Olympic campaign in 24 years, the document is a philosophical and financial roadmap for elite sport over the next eight years.

Most anticipated are early indications on the future distribution of millions of dollars in public money - and the return expected on that investment.

The Government has increased funding for the elite sport sector significantly over the last three years. During 2009-10 an extra $10 million was poured in, followed by a further $15m in 2010-11 and an additional $20m annually thereafter. In 2012-13, HPSNZ's budget will be over $60m a year.

While national sports organisations won't know how big a slice of that funding they will receive until December, the strategic plan will offer early signs on which sports are considered priorities, such as rowing, yachting, cycling and athletics.

It could also offer the first glimpse on the immediate future for previously targeted sports which underperformed at London 2012, such as men's hockey and swimming.

The release of the strategic plan is the first major policy overseen by HPSNZ chief executive Alex Baumann after taking the reins in January.

Canadian Baumann is a double Olympic gold medallist in swimming and was previously CEO of Queensland Swimming.

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- Sunday Star Times

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