Hon Murray McCully, for Sports, Fitness and Leisure

  • Murray McCully
Sport Fitness and Leisure

Athletes in training for the Sydney Olympics will be given a major boost with the announcement of new funding in next Thursday's Budget.

The Prime Minister has announced a $4.2 million boost to high performance sport funding allocated to the New Zealand Sports Foundation, at a reception for the All Black and Puma rugby teams at Parliament this evening. The new funding will bring high performance sport funding from the Government to a total of $9.5 million for the three years building up to the Sydney Olympics in the year 2000.

"Most of the team that will represent New Zealand at Sydney are already hard in training. They are committing their lives to the goal of Olympic success, and the Government is committed to giving them proper support" Mr Bolger said.

Sport, Fitness and Leisure Minister, Hon Murray McCully, said the additional funding was a further commitment to the work of the New Zealand 2000 Taskforce, and the subsequent review of high performance sport funding, known as the "Winning Way" report.

He said it was also "an acknowledgment of the outstanding work of the New Zealand Sports Foundation both in raising private sector support and in targeting resources to areas of greatest benefit."

"Most of these new funds will go to ensuring that athletes and their coaches can train and compete overseas. That's what the athletes want and need most to give them a competitive advantage at Sydney."

"One of the greatest challenges for our athletes is distance. We are a long way from the key overseas sports events leading up to the Olympics, and the costs of sending athletes away is a major burden for sports bodies. But it is a simple fact - if we want to beat the world, we've got to play the world."

"New Zealand supported the Sydney bid for the 2000 Olympics, because we could see the benefit to our athletes of being able to compete on a scale not otherwise possible and the benefit of having the international spotlight on our region of the world. We now need to make sure that our athletes have their best chance of success," Mr McCully said.