Applications are now open for the grants, which total $100,000.
Sport NZ Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin says the biennial Hillary Expeditions are a great opportunity for adventurous Kiwis to follow in the footsteps of the programme’s namesake.
"New Zealand is known as a nation of great adventurers, like Sir Edmund Hillary, whose name is honoured by this initiative. Our Kiwi adventurers have a strong pioneering spirit. They inspire other New Zealanders with their extraordinary feats. This is an opportunity for Kiwis who have a desire to achieve something special in the great outdoors and make it happen," Miskimmin said.
Expeditions funded in the past have involved thrilling adventures and included world firsts. The 2010/2011 round of grants included the Gradient and Water team, which successfully discovered and paddled eight never-before-paddled river ascents in Papua New Guinea; the Speedfly8000 expedition, which successfully summited the 8000 metre Mt Manaslu; and the Extreme Cave Team, which found a cave over 1000 metres deep in New Zealand with its first grant, then discovered another impressive cave system with its second grant. (For more information on this expedition, watch this interview on YouTube with Team Leader Kieran McKay.)
Miskimmin says outdoor adventurers push themselves beyond their limits, in extreme environments to achieve their goals. It’s a spirit he says is worthy of support and admiration.
"It takes a great deal of organisation, courage, determination and physical endurance to achieve these world firsts in the outdoors. New Zealand adventurers are role models for other Kiwis so I encourage those with big dreams to apply," Miskimmin said.
To qualify for a grant, expeditions might include any one, or a combination, of outdoor activities such as tramping, mountaineering, rock climbing, cross-country skiing, white water and/or sea kayaking, mountain biking and sailing.
Criteria and application forms are available on the Recreation section of the Sport NZ website.
Applications close at 4pm on 30 August. Successful applicants will be announced by December 2012.
Media Contact: Joe Wallace, Senior Communications Advisor, Sport NZ.
Phone 021 246 4814 or email email@example.com