Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) chief executive Peter Miskimmin said today the All Whites had done New Zealand proud in the FIFA World Cup.
“Their performances were superb and come on the back of good old-fashioned values, sheer hard work and team spirit. The players have endeared themselves through their modesty about their achievements and have always put the team first,” he said.
Not only New Zealanders but the whole world has been impressed at their determination and courage. “The team’s success is a timely reminder of the power of sport to bring communities together and to make us feel proud and good about ourselves as Kiwis.”
The results were an inspiration and would give a huge boost to the sport which was already growing rapidly in popularity in this country.
SPARC was working closely with New Zealand Football to ensure that the significant boost from the World Cup lifted the game and drove it forward, Mr Miskimmin said. NZ Football’s “whole of football plan’’ created a structure for the future development of the game, emphasising improving standards and providing nationwide development initiatives.
“The future of football is in the hands, and feet, of the many young New Zealanders who are just getting into the sport now,” said Mr Miskimmin. “We are confident New Zealand can develop more world class players to go on to even greater things in the future.”
It was too early to say what effect the World Cup success would have on future funding for the sport, he said. SPARC supported the All Whites to qualify for the World Cup with $250,000 funding and had invested $1.2 million from High Performance funding over the last three years. The Government has also provided another $300,000 for the World Cup campaign.
New Zealand Football would now complete a comprehensive review of the campaign and after consultation with SPARC would confirm a plan for the All Whites and community football for the way forward.
“Our support of New Zealand Football is not just about dollars,” said Mr Miskimmin. “We will be helping them to ensure they capture and leverage this success for the future growth of the game in New Zealand.”