SWIMNEWS ONLINE: September 1995 Magazine Articles

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Cecil M. Colwin

The New Zealand team did well in the Pan Pacific Championship final medal tally. They won one gold, one silver, and two bronze medals on the small annual budget of $NZ 228,000. Convert this amount to Canadian dollars (approx. $201,688), and you'll realize just how small an amount it is... Head Coach Mark Bone, said New Zealand Swimming receives an annual grant from a "special government funding agency," known as "Sport Fund 2000." This grant is specifically aimed at achieving success in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. New Zealand Swimming recently lost its long-time Speedo sponsorship, and has only two other sponsors, each worth $NZ 14,000.

The Kiwis' trip to Atlanta is expected to cost $NZ 150,000. "Don't forget the crippling effect of the poor exchange rate (NZ$=US$0.65), said Mark Bone. "We will have only $NZ 50,000 left, and we need to fund a team to the World short course championship in Rio, as well as conduct our national age group program."

The Kiwis hope to overcome the difficulty by introducing a "user pays" element into all programs. They will attempt to take their top age group swimmers to Australia twice a year, once each season (summer and winter). The average cost will be approximately $NZ 1000 per swimmer. There will be a "user pays" component of $NZ 400 per swimmer, with the Association paying the balance of $NZ 600.

(Note: Another "low-budget" country present at the meet was the Republic of South Africa. According to Team Manager, Gideon Sam, who is also Vice-President of the South African Olympic Council, swimming has a government-sponsored budget of R300,000 (approx. $Can. 111,420) spread over three years. Penelope Heyns, their star swimmer, is a student at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska.)

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