WIL Sport, a New Zealand altruistic organisation run by Cheryl and Phil London from Taupo is expanding its involvement with New Zealand sporting success. The company has a history of supporting and developing athletes and a diverse portfolio of sports on both the local and international stage.
WIL Sport already sponsors New Zealand triathlete Nicole van der Kaay. In an expansion of its involvement in triathlon, national governing body Triathlon New Zealand (TriNZ) notes in a release that ‘the chance of supporting Triathlon New Zealand’s Athlete Development Program to work towards the new Olympic discipline of the mixed team relay has been a big draw card for the organisation.’
The Olympic mixed team relay sees two female and two male triathletes joining forces for their country. It is an action-packed event that has each of the four triathletes taking a turn to do a short course triathlon (swim 300m, bike 8km and 2km run).
Phil London, Managing Director of WIL Sport, said “We were happy to fund the Athlete Development Program as it aligns with the values of WIL Sport. Triathlon New Zealand demonstrates a clear vision and plan to develop and support athletes through to international success.”
He continued, “WIL Sport provides a pathway for athletes to break down the barriers to their ambitions. From grassroots to the international stage, we support athlete development, confidence and performance where it counts. It’s a lonely road if you’re in an individual pursuit that isn’t mainstream. You need support and the right access to advice.”
Newly selected Commonwealth Games athlete Nicole van der Kaay, said that having both WIL SPORT and Triathlon New Zealand supporting her both financially and on a personal level makes a difference. She said, “I will be able to live in train at the High Performance Centre in Cambridge, with less financial stress, allowing more time and energy that can be focused on training and recovery. All the small differences add up and make a huge difference to the end result.”
Mark Elliot, Triathlon New Zealand’s High Performance Director, said that the funding is very timely with the addition of mixed team relay to the Olympic schedule on the horizon. “The great thing about the WIL Sport funding is that it will allow us to focus nationally and not just centrally out of Cambridge. It allows us to identify and support young athletes via the regional talent development programs.
“The development programs are based on producing a more rounded, educated athlete with better skills, and not just working on their physiological development.”
Many of the athletes in the program will be competing at the Future ChampioNZ Triathlon Festival in Taupo on 15-17 December. The event will include a mixed team relay (200m swim, 5km bike and 1.8km run).