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News posted on Tuesday 30th May, 2017

Commercial & high performance programmes recognised at 2017 NZ Sport and Recreation Awards

2017 NZ Sport and Recreation Awards

Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) and its commercial partners, ACC, Cadbury and Sanford, have last night taken out top honours in the commercial partnerships category at the 2017 New Zealand Sport and Recreation Awards, the country’s most prestigious sports industry awards. Sophie Pascoe’s high performance campaign was also recognised following her exceptional results at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The purpose of the Commercial Partnerships Award is to identify, celebrate, promote and encourage exceptional partnering of a sport and recreation organisation with a commercial organisation. The win recognises the success of the now multi-award winning PNZ Spirit of Gold® Initiative over the past year. Specifically, the contribution that PNZ’s commercial partners ACC, Cadbury and Sanford have made in assisting PNZ to raise awareness of Para sport and positively influence community perceptions around disability.

PNZ was also named as a finalist in the High Performance Campaign Award for Sophie Pascoe and coach Roly Crichton. This was a hotly contested Award, won by Olympic gold medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke. This award recognises a high performance campaign that has achieved an exceptional outcome. Pascoe won a total of five medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, three gold and two silver medals. Over three consecutive Games, she has brought home 15 medals in total, surpassing Eve Rimmer to become New Zealand’s most successful Paralympian ever.

Peter Miskimmin (CEO, Sport NZ) said, “Spirit of Gold went above and beyond a single commercial partnership – with the three partners (ACC, Cadbury and Sanford), Paralympics NZ raised the profile of the New Zealand Paralympic Team and built the support of a nation to help secure 21 medals in Rio and retain their place atop the per capita medal table.“

Fiona Allan (Chief Executive, PNZ) said, “I would like to congratulate our partners ACC, Cadbury and Sanford. Their vision and support enabled Paralympics New Zealand and New Zealand Para athletes to achieve success at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. I wish to thank Sport New Zealand for having an award which celebrates and acknowledges the significant value that commercial partners bring to New Zealand sport.“

Rachel Froggatt (Commercial & Marketing Director, PNZ) said, “We are incredibly proud to have our commercial programme and partnerships with ACC, Cadbury and Sanford recognised at the 2017 NZ Sport and Recreation Awards. Commercial investment is one of the key ways we raise funds to ensure we can support current and emerging Paralympians, and our community programmes around social change. We are fortunate to have partners committed to these objectives and equally, we are committed to assist them in meeting their own objectives.“

The PNZ Spirit of Gold® Initiative provides a foundation for all PNZ’s community and commercial partnerships by providing a transparent structure of rights and benefits for organisations to align with and by creating a consistent communication platform that resonates with, and is understood by, key target audiences. Commercial investment assists PNZ to support community and athlete development activities that are not covered by government investment and supports the increasing costs of each Games campaign.

Ian Sargeant (Commercial Partnerships Manager, PNZ) believes that alongside the support extended by PNZ, the key to the success of these partnerships lies in building strong relationships. “Through the PNZ Spirit of Gold® Initiative we are able to offer our partners a regular stream of content to use across their platforms and also, opportunities to attend events. Frequently bringing our Partners together combines their individual efforts and helps move everyone forward. We have ambitious plans to grow our commercial programme and despite the success to date, we believe we’ve barely scratched the surface of what we can achieved, particularly as diversity and inclusion move up the corporate agenda.“

The Commercial Partnerships Award has come hot on the heels of Friday’s announcement, which saw Toyota New Zealand become a new Major Partner of Paralympics New Zealand and Monday’s news  that both ACC and Sanford have renewed their agreements for a further term. Together, these announcements top off a great year, which saw the New Zealand Paralympic Team secure a stunning 21 medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, including 9 gold. This placed New Zealand 13th on the medal table and number 1 in the world for medals per capita and number 1 in the world for gold medals per capita.

Scott Pickering, Chief Executive, ACC, explains that for ACC, “the intention behind the partnership is to improve rehabilitation outcomes and wellbeing for ACC clients. The alignment of this with PNZ’s desire to help people with disabilities maximise their potential and promote social inclusion has led to a very successful couple of years. Hundreds of New Zealanders with disabilities have had the opportunity to try Para sport via the ACC Paralympics New Zealand Open Days and via the ACC Sports Rehab Pathway. Feedback from clients has been positive and we are excited by what lies ahead.“

“We are really excited about the opportunity to continue working with PNZ and are currently in the latter stages of our strategic planning. We’ve been really impressed with what we’ve achieved with PNZ to date, and particularly the way they continually engage all their partners and make a concerted effort to help us with our objectives,“ says James Kane, Country Head – Mondelez.

CEO of Sanford, Volker Kuntzsch, explains that their partnership “provides a way to promote internal employee engagement whilst reinforcing Sanford’s position as a caring, and sustainable organisation closely linked to communities across New Zealand. Staging a series of events with speaking opportunities for New Zealand’s Paralympians was an incredibly effective way of doing this. We are delighted to have extended our partnership with PNZ and are looking forward to continuing to provide our people with opportunities to learn from these excellent role-models whilst also helping them achieve their goals.“

PNZ is now in the run up to both the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games with less than one year and less than 3.5 years to go, respectively. The Spirit of Gold® Initiative will evolve and continue to provide a platform for current and future commercial partners to support Paralympians winning medals at Paralympic Games and to assist in the development of Para sport in New Zealand through our community awareness and athlete development programmes.

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