National governing body Triathlon New Zealand has received mixed news with the funding rounds for 2016 announced by High Performance Sport New Zealand (high performance/elite athletes) and for 2017 and beyond by Sport New Zealand (community funding).
While elite athlete funding through High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) has been maintained at previous levels, Sport New Zealand has cut the funding available to support triathlon in the community.
Elite athlete funding
HPSNZ has reinforced its support of the Tri NZ HP Programme and 2020 Strategy with a continuation of the same level of funding through until March 2017 of NZ$1.25 million. As Triathlon New Zealand (Tri NZ) points out, this critically leads into and covering the Rio Olympic Games next August.
Tri NZ CEO Craig Waugh is pleased with the endorsement and the ongoing support from HPSNZ. He said, “We are appreciative that the level of investment will allow our High Performance Programme to continue to rebuild the Elite programme as per the 2020 Strategy released in 2013. There have been positive outcomes in the long term rebuild over the past two years and now we can continue with confidence over the next couple of years.
“In 2016 this sees a focus on the Rio Olympics but importantly takes into account the longer term view towards 2020 and beyond, with a significant investment into the National Talent Programme as we look to identify and develop the next generation of triathletes.”
He continued, “In delivering the news to the Board of Tri NZ, the HPSNZ Board made special mention that they were very confident in Tri NZ’s leadership and pleased to see that we are staying true to that 2020 HP Strategy, in particular the traction and structure that we have initiated in the past two years.”
High Performance Director Graeme Maw echoed those sentiments from the HP base in Cambridge, where Tri NZ has this week hosted a National Talent Squad Camp with a host of the best young triathletes from around the country coming together to learn the life of a professional triathlete as they look to gain inclusion into the 2016 National Talent Squad.
“While expected, this is good news for the HP Programme. It is continued endorsement and understanding of our 2020 Strategy,” Maw said.
“We are working tightly for Rio, and also addressing the gap identified in the talent pathway. We see these things converging as we head towards the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
“The funding announcement is an endorsement of all the work that many people are doing, directly among the HP staff, our performance support at HPSNZ, our Regional Lead Coaches, and a network of coaches helping develop excellent young athletes.”
The news on the community funding was not as pleasing for Tri NZ, although the full impact on the sport will not be felt until 2017/18 and, with plenty of discussion still to take place, just what that impact might be is not yet clear.
Sport New Zealand has cut the funding to many national sporting organisations for the delivery of community strategies, with Tri NZ reducing to NZ$50,000 per annum from mid-2017.
“We expected a reduction to align with the Sport NZ new community strategy, but did not expect the level of reduction from Sport New Zealand towards our community initiatives,” said Tri NZ CEO Craig Waugh.
He continued, “But the full reduction will not take effect until mid-2017, and in the meantime we look forward to further discussions with Sport New Zealand to better understand their thinking behind this decision.
“This is one of a number of current and potential funding streams for the sport, we will work with our stakeholders and Sport NZ over the coming months to identify other opportunities to ensure we continue to be the organisation that guides our sport and delivers service to our stakeholders and the sport at grass roots level.”
Waugh added, “2016 will see Tri NZ continue to roll out our initiatives in coaching, events sanctioning and endorsement, championships, talent pathway, technical courses, age group programme, schools, clubs and HP.
“We have already started work towards ensuring continued delivery on those community initiatives in 2017 and beyond, and will meet with Sport New Zealand to better understand that changing landscape for all NSO’s but especially in triathlon on the back of today’s decision.”