NZ Government Sponsors Top Slopestyle Riders – $75,000

November 17th, 2009

Boosting with some government cash in his pockets, NZ’s Nick Brown, late season pow Cardrona. Photo: Vaughan Brookfield.

SPARC Contestable Funding Targets non-Olympic Disciplines

Lake Wanaka, New Zealand – 16 November 2009 – Snow Sports New Zealand (SSNZ) today announced that Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) has approved two contestable funding applications made by the NSO to support a snowboard slopestyle team, as well as one New Zealand’s top disabled snowboarders.

Slopestyle competitors Shelly Gotlieb (Ohakune); Stef Zeestraten (Christchurch); Nick Hyne (Mt. Manganui) and Nick Brown (Queenstown) will receive direct support as a result of the SPARC investment.
The group have targeted the 2011 World Championships as their ultimate goal, although a 2010 Winter X-Games invitation is not out of the question for Gotlieb, who has several top-five finishes on the world stage, including a first-place finish in slopestyle at this year’s inaugural 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games held at The Remarkables in Queenstown.

Stef Zeestraten. Photo: Alex Roberts

The team plans to compete in Dew Tour events the Burton Global Open Series and in FIS World Cups, among other top-level competitions during the just started Northern Hemisphere season. Some of the team will also compete in Big Air events in the lead-up to the 2011 World Championships in La Molina, Spain.
The investment will also support adaptive snowboarder Carl Murphy (New Plymouth) in his quest to compete in the Paralympics. Murphy and others are lobbying for inclusion of snowboarding in the 2014 Paralympic Games.

“This is a major step forward for our sports,” said SSNZ CEO Ross Palmer. “Traditionally, SPARC have focused high performance investment on Olympic disciplines. This investment acknowledges that some of our sports have alternate pathways, including the X-Games that have developed a reputation for staging some of the most competitive events worldwide.”

SPARC announced today that it is investing a record $6.3 million in 19 national sport organisations’ high performance programmes and projects following the 2010 contestable investment round.
SPARC High Performance General Manager Martin Toomey says the increase in the contestable funding reflects more athletes and teams meeting investment criteria.

The SPARC investment into SSNZ also marks the first time the NSO has received high performance sport funding of any kind.

The Winter Performance Programme (WPP) has for the past four years received high performance investment to support both snow and ice sports at the elite level. SPARC announced that WPP will receive an additional $700,000 in 2010, and an additional $130,000 in service credits.

The contestable investment is just one component of the overall high performance investment programme of approximately $38 million per annum. Other components of the investment programme are;

  • Targeted sport investment $ 15.00 million
  • Performance enhancement grants (PEGs) $ 5.00 million
  • NZ Academy of Sport athlete and coach support $ 6.25 million
  • Prime Minister’s sports scholarships $ 4.25 million
  • Technology research, innovation support $ 1.00 million

The contestable investment process was open to all sports that could satisfy one or more of the following criteria:

  • creditable Olympic performances;
  • winning world championship performances;
  • medal winning Commonwealth Games performances;
  • medal winning Paralympic performances.

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