9 Oct 2012

Elite sports body concentrating on podium places

3:23 pm on 9 October 2012

High Performance Sport New Zealand says it will continue to concentrate on podium places in order to make the biggest impact with its limited resources.

Participants in surfing, freestyle skiing and motocross are among those vying to get a share of funding, which they claim is overly focused on Olympic medals.

But the chief executive of High Performance Sport New Zealand told Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon programme the $60 million it annually awards is low compared with many countries, and it has to prioritise.

"There's no doubt that we're going to concentrate on targeted sports. I don't see us veering away from Olympic sports in terms of the investment levels, because it has been successful, and I do believe the Olympics are important."

Alex Baumanm admits it is a chicken and egg situation, as athletes get funding when they have a realistic chance of winning a medal - not when they are lower down the rankings and need cash to train and compete.