Cycling New Zealand confident about Tokyo Olympic ambitions

By Sports Media NZ

Cycling New Zealand is confident they can achieve their Tokyo Olympic medal ambitions in spite of the cut in their high performance funding from High Performance Sport New Zealand.

They have retained their status as a Targeted Tier One sport for the coming Olympiad but will operate on a budget of $500,000 less per year until 2018.

Cycling New Zealand CEO Andrew Matheson recognised that despite broader success across the last four years with 14 world championship medals including four world champion rainbow jerseys, they only converted these performances into one medal in Rio and three fourth placings.

“We understand the realities of operation in the high performance sport space, and that there can be consequences for not achieving the agreed targets with High Performance Sport New Zealand,” said Mr Matheson, who is also the acting High Performance Director.

“We will cut our cloth to suit yet ensure the critical building blocks are in place for Tokyo and 2024, and we are confident that we can continue to deliver outcomes at the highest level from our broader high performance programme.

“We have had a thorough and very honest debrief process and believe we have captured the areas where we have done well plus critically identified some shortcomings in our Rio campaign.

“The positive thing for us is that we will be reviewed in two years with the opportunity to rebuild our funding levels again in the important last two years to Tokyo.”

Despite the funding cut, Cycling New Zealand are confident that the conveyor belt of young talent will continue to provide exciting opportunities not only in Tokyo 2020 supported with their newly created Regional Performance Hub programme and some exciting developments in school cycling predominantly funded by non-government sources.

“We have some outstanding commercial partnerships, philanthropists and trusts on-board right across the organisation which enable us to remain a stable and strong organisation, and to drive much of our successful development programmes outside of government funding.”

Mr Matheson said while disappointed to lose former high performance director Mark Elliott and men’s endurance coach Tim Carswell that change is also an enriching process for the sport and allows for the next generation of coaches and support staff to shine.

“Despite these immediate funding challenges, we are building a great organisation and a strong broad sporting base that will see strong success in the future.”

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