Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) has today announced increases to the grants it provides to New Zealand’s world class athletes, along with the introduction of multi-year grants.
SPARC’s Performance Enhancement Grants (PEGs) allow New Zealand’s top athletes to dedicate time to training and competing so they can maximise their sporting potential.
Under the new PEGs criteria, a world champion in an Olympic discipline will get a $60,000 grant, up from the $40,000 given previously.
A medallist in an Olympic discipline will get $55,000, up from $35,000 previously.
SPARC General Manager High Performance Martin Toomey said the increases were being made following feedback from Olympic sports.
"When we spoke to athletes, coaches and those running high performance programmes there was unanimous agreement around the impact PEGs have had on the improved performance we have seen from New Zealand athletes over recent years," Toomey says.
"However there was recognition that the previous levels weren’t adequate to provide athletes with enough support to maximise their performance, and we’re hopeful these changes will go some way to improving that," Toomey says.
"They also asked for greater flexibility so that PEGs grants could be paid over a number of years. This means world class athletes having a lighter competition year to recharge will still be eligible, and we hope those sports in danger of losing top athletes to other disciplines will be in a better position to retain them."
SPARC’s Board approved the increase in the grants, which are effective immediately. The increases are being made from existing baselines.
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SPARC is the government agency charged with promoting, encouraging and supporting sport and physical recreation in New Zealand. For more information, visit www.sparc.org.nz.