New Zealand Football (NZF), New Zealand Players Football Association (NZPFA) and New Zealand Football Foundation (NZFF) have joined forces to create a player welfare fund to support individual players on their Road to Rio.
With the considerable demands being placed on the players in the build up to Rio, where the Ferns are targeting medal success, the initiative is designed to provide extra bespoke financial support to players not able to hold down employment during the intense training period.
Both the NZPFA and the NZFF have provided grants of $60k to NZF towards this initiative demonstrating just how important player welfare is deemed by all three parties.
New Zealand Football Chief Executive, Andy Martin, welcomed the initiative.
“This is a great result for the Football Ferns and we’d like to congratulate and thank the NZPFA and the NZFF for coming together to make this a reality,” he said.
“It isn’t easy for those Ferns based in New Zealand competing for a place in the squad for Rio. They are required to train full-time which presents challenges for them in securing funds to meet the costs of living.”
The Chairman of the NZPFA Harry Ngata said: “We are delighted that all key stakeholders have contributed to this initiative to support our elite players. In what is such an important year for the Ferns, it is imperative that their preparation for Rio is not jeopardised in any way. The contribution and continual support from the NZPFA, NZFF and NZF will ensure our players are in the best possible shape to perform and win on the international stage.”
The Chairman of the New Zealand Football Foundation Mark Stewart said: “We are delighted to approve this grant. Since the Foundation’s inception in 2010, the Foundation has approved over 170 grants, totalling more than $1.3 million being allocated to develop the game of football in New Zealand. The Fern’s preparation application was an easy one to consider and we had no hesitation in granting approval.”
The Ferns will be in action on June 4 and June 7 against Australia as part of their final preparations for the Rio Olympic Games where they face the United States in their opening game on August 3.