Cycling New Zealand is pleased it can now plan ahead assuredly to the Tokyo Olympics after receiving confirmed support through to 2020. CNZ has also welcomed news of an additional $200,000 per year from High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) for the next three years.
“Cycling New Zealand’s High Performance programme is thankful for and welcomes the support it receives from HPSNZ, Beyond the increase in resources, it is the breadth of HPSNZ commitment to cycling that will make the most significant impact towards our Olympic aspirations,” said new High Performance Director, Martin Barras.
Since a cut in funding following the Rio Olympics, the organisation has completed an extensive internal debrief and reframed the High Performance programme structure and focus. Despite the additional investment there will be a continued focus on operational efficiencies to ensure all investment makes the biggest possible performance impact. The priority has been to retain key athletes and grow depth both in the High Performance programme, particularly in the Vantage Elite Track team, as well as the Subway Development Hub programme.
“We are now building on some strong performances in all disciplines at their respective 2017 world championships, and we have been able to recruit Martin Barras, a highly respected figure in the sport, as our High Performance Director and he is already refining the programme,” said Cycling New Zealand CEO, Andrew Matheson.
“Next year is about sharpening the focus and planning towards Tokyo and beyond, continue to increase athlete depth, continue our detailed planning and our innovation programme while also preparing for the Olympic qualification process that begins late next year.”
Mr Matheson said that there has been significant change over the past 12 months, and while the signs are promising, CNZ is only at the start of this development process with a largely youthful group of athletes.
“Our core performance focus as agreed with HPSNZ next year is the World Championships in all codes which starts with the Track World Championships in the Netherlands in early March, but all endeavours are being undertaken to enable our riders to compete to a high level at the Commonwealth Games just a month later.”
The teams for the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships will be named in early February.