Over the last quadrennial New Zealand Swimming has been considered a priority or ‘targeted sport’ by High Performance Sport New Zealand, heading into the 2016 Olympics in Rio that will not be the case.
As it was reported by Yahoo New Zealand the head of HPSNZ Alex Baumann has said that his group will work with Swimming New Zealand on how they will use the funds, but that the sport will need to show a stronger ability to hit specified targets.
Over the last four years Swimming New Zealand has received $6.6 million ($1.65 million/year), next year they will receive $1.4 million, which is a reduction of 15%. Under the new funding system the amount they receive is only guaranteed for one year and their funding level will be reevaluated each year.
New Zealand Dr. Brent Layton the Chair of Swimming New Zealand has expressed that he feels new level of funding is fair and appropriate.
“We expected the funding would be for a shorter period than four years and probably for one year. The sport has undergone significant change in the last few months with a new constitution, a new Board, a new Chair, a new High Performance Director and the search is on for a new Chief Executive.”
“However, there is also quite a bit left to be achieved. Any prudent investor would want the opportunity to review progress in a year or so. That is what HPSNZ has left open to it,” Dr Layton said.
He also believes that Swimming New Zealand will be able to secure more resources with new partnerships that will enable them to run their high performance plan successfully.
New Zealand has not won an Olympic medal in swimming since Danyon Loader won the 200 and 400 freestyle gold in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympics.
Swimming New Zealand is confident in the swimmers they have in the high performance system as well as their youth program. They are especially optimistic after Lauren Boyle came away from the short course world championships with a gold in the 800 freestyle and a bronze in the 400 freestyle.
“Swimming New Zealand goes into the New Year on the back of some very encouraging results and a united team effort at the World Short Course Championships in Turkey last week. Lauren Boyle’s medals are the highlights but not the only positive outcomes from this meeting.
“There were good swims by all members of the team and the good results by Spanish swimmers currently under the direction of Swimming New Zealand’s new High Performance Director which is also very positive for our future.”