Topic: Touch Rugby

Touch NZ welcome funding injection for 2016

By Raniera Harrison

Touch NZ are welcoming a well overdue injection of funding for 2016.  The struggling sport has been given an extra $90,000 a year, for the next four years.

But it comes somewhat bittersweet - Sport NZ have put restrictions on the fund which means high performance players won't see a cent.

The CEO of Touch NZ says its high performance players have the greatest impact on promoting the game across the country.

An extra $90,000, but not for it's elite athletes.  They won't see a single cent.

Head of Touch NZ, Joe Sprangers says, "It's a difficult area for everybody in that the players are still currently having to contribute."

Touch NZ is stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Sport NZ has given an extra $90,000 to the sport annually for the next four years, however it comes with its own restrictions.

Sprangers says, "Good example is in 2013 when we were receiving high performance funding, we managed to win the Super Trans Tasman and win all the major trophies that year.

Touch NZ officials hoped that by giving more money for national representatives, who have long played second fiddle to Australia. 

Some Touch World Cup representatives were forced to fork out in excess of $5000 out of their own pockets to represent their country.

With a $300,000 boost, players hope the sport will flourish into the future.

"It's the number that would allow us to add a little from operational funds to and that on top of it we would be able to do that," says Spraggers.

Only then will the ball go well and truly, over the line.

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