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Thursday, 15 December 2016
High Performance Sport New Zealand has elevated the paddling discipline from a Tier 3 to a Tier 2 sport, with funding jumping from $1.275million to $1.6million next year and another rise in place for 2018.By the time the new centralised high-performance programme is ensconced in Karapiro in 2018, the sport will be getting $1.75million to target towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“This is a massive boost for the sport that supports all the work put in by the athletes, staff and volunteers over the last year,” CRNZ chief executive Mark Weatherall said. “It’s put us in a very strong position heading into next year and I’m extremely proud of the faith we’ve been shown by both High Performance Sport New Zealand and Sport New Zealand.”
It’s been a big year for canoe racing, with Lisa Carrington creating history in winning Olympic K1 200m gold and K1 500m bronze, while the K4 women’s team of Jaimee Lovett, Caitlin Ryan, Aimee Fisher and Kayla Imrie finished a hugely impressive fifth.
HPSNZ has also recognised the untapped potential of other paddlers and crews in the sport, now that robust national men’s and women’s programmes are producing results, led by Frederic Loyer and Rene Olsen respectively.
Weatherall, who will leave CRNZ in March, explained an athlete development pathway is now locked in place, having invested heavily in refining the sport’s systems and processes.
The biggest change he’s seen in nearly fours years in charge, however, has been the way the organisation has pulled together.“We’ve put a huge amount of work into improving the culture in the sport, from the top-down and the ground-up. It was important that if we asked more from our athletes in that respect, the rest of the organisation needed to be reflecting those higher standards. It’s been a major focus during my time and I’m very happy to step aside, knowing the sport has strong foundations to build on from here.”
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