Paralympic athletes to receive same financial support as Olympians

By Jessica Tyson

Paralympic athletes in New Zealand will now be entitled to financial grants at the same value of Olympians, of up to $20,000.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced two new High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) initiatives to support athletes at a Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) dinner last night.

She said it's only fair that Paralympic the athletes are equally rewarded for their outstanding achievements.

"I'm delighted to announce that HPSNZ has confirmed parity of government-funded Performance Enhancement Grants for Paralympians and Olympians alike.”

Ardern also announced a health insurance plan for all carded athletes- recognising that the hard work and sacrifice that comes with excellence on the world stage is the same for all of our elite athletes. 

PNZ Chief Executive Fiona Allan says the move comes following the 2016 and 2018 Paralympic Games, where there's been amazing public support for Paralympians.

“This announcement further illustrates how critical these athletes are to the New Zealand sporting community and how they are equally valued.”

The grants will enable the athletes to train full-time and maximise their international performance.