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Triathlon New Zealand has today been granted 4.8 million dollars of funding from SPARC, money that will fund the High Performance Programme over the next four years as the sport looks to build further on successive medals at the Athens and Beijing Olympic Games.
The allocation is an increase of $900,000 on the previous cycle but is considerably less than the sport had applied for based on a detailed High Performance Plan that looks towards and beyond the London Games that are now just over 3 years away.
Triathlon NZ CEO Dave Beeche said that while the funds are less than the amount requested by the sport, he understands the difficulty facing SPARC in allocating limited funds.
“Tri NZ’s investment proposal to SPARC was a thorough and compelling plan as to how we think we can achieve success at not only London but 2016 as well. We recognise that SPARC does not have a bottomless pit of money and must allocate those funds across a range of sports, each with their own justification for an increase in investment. Triathlon will put this money to good use over the next four years to give ourselves the best shot at another medal in London”
Beeche says the sport can now work through a process to finalise plans for the next few years, put in place a programme within the budget allocated, and is grateful for the continued investment in High Performance triathlon from SPARC. He admits however to some disappointment that the longer term planning will suffer.
“It is our firm belief that no sport can operate a high performance programme with a four year cycle only; we made that clear and hoped to identify and develop our athletes with 2016 in mind as well as London
“We will work through the implications of the funding round with our stakeholders and High Performance team and cut our cloth accordingly. Longer term planning and investment will clearly be reconsidered; we can’t spend money we don’t have. However we are an innovative and resourceful organisation and will do all we can to maintain a focus on both London and 2016.”
Tri NZ currently boast 5 athletes inside the top ten in the world on ITU points rankings, 3 medals at the past two Olympic Games, 4 medals at the previous two Commonwealth Games, a raft of World Championship titles and medals over the past ten years and 2 medals at the Youth Olympic Games in Sydney earlier this year, including gold in the men’s team event.
Greg Fraine has just taken up his new position of National Coach within the organisation and will work closely with Dave Beeche and the Board of Tri NZ to develop and modify the HP programme with the funds available.