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High Performance Sport NZ Investment in Squash

High Performance Sport NZ has decreased its investment in squash through to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Squash New Zealand has received a reduction in funding from High Performance Sport New Zealand for its campaign towards the Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow in July and August of 2014.

While Squash New Zealand is appreciative of the support it has previously received - enabling the High Performance Programme to consistently deliver medals at the last four Commonwealth Games - the reduction is disappointing and has forced a major review of the High Performance Programme for 2013 and 2014.

For a full list of funding decisions from HPSNZ, see the HPSNZ Investment Table.

The current HPSNZ investment strategy is aimed at winning medals at pinnacle world events, and outlines its investment and support priorities as:

  • Sports and athletes that have medal potential at the Olympic Games (Summer and Winter)
  • Non-Olympic targeted sports that can win at world championships
  • Sports and athletes that have gold medal potential at the Paralympic Games (Summer and Winter).

Squash is undoubtedly disadvantaged by its non-Olympic status, which serves to increase the importance of Commonwealth Games and World Championship performances.  The IOC vote in September to decide squash's potential future as an Olympic sport is ever more salient and important to the sport.  While inclusion in the Olympic Games may not immediately translate to greater funding from HPSNZ (as the Olympics in question are not until the year 2020), it would provide a definite fillip for the sport.

In response to the reduction in funding, Squash New Zealand has conducted a review of its High Performance budget to align it with investment income.  This has had several consequences:

  • Reduced grants for elite players
  • Decreased use of service providers
  • Budget cuts for some programme areas
  • A greater 'user pays' component to the High Performance Programme.

However the news is not all bad.  While general High Performance Programme funding has been reduced, HPSNZ have made some additional support available to support the campaign of Joelle King.  After breaking into the world's top ten ranked players last December, this represents recognition of Joelle's obvious medal potential by HPSNZ.

The new funding agreement covers Squash New Zealand's Glasgow Commonwealth Games campaign, and the World Women's Teams Championships at the end of 2014.

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