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.)