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SPARC calls for adventurers to come forward

Adventurers are being encouraged to turn their dreams into reality by applying for grants under the Hillary Expeditions initiative run by Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC). Chief executive Peter Miskimmin said today adventurous Kiwis planning challenging outdoor expeditions could now apply for funding. Up to $100,000 is available through Hillary Expedition Grants, which are made available every two years.

"New Zealand is known as a nation of great adventurers, like Sir Edmund Hillary, whose name is honoured by this initiative. Our Kiwi adventurers have a pioneering spirit like no other. They inspire other New Zealanders with their extraordinary feats. This is an opportunity for Kiwis who have always nurtured a desire to achieve something special in the great outdoors to make it happen," Miskimmin said.

Expeditions funded in the past have involved extreme adventures and have included world firsts. For instance, Hillary Expeditions have included attempts at crossing the Greenland ice cap, a successful first ascent of Karim Sar in the Batura region of northern Pakistan, success while big wall rock climbing in the Karakorum ranges of Pakistan, new routes on peaks in Antarctica, extreme river trips, and this year’s discovery and exploration of New Zealand’s first 1000m deep cave.

Miskimmin said outdoor adventurers pushed themselves beyond their limits in extreme environments to achieve their goals.

"It takes a great deal of organisation, courage, determination and physical endurance to achieve these world firsts in the outdoors. New Zealand adventurers are role models for other Kiwis so I encourage those with big dreams to apply."

To qualify for a grant, expeditions have to include any one, or a combination, of outdoor activities such as tramping, mountaineering, rock climbing, cross-country skiing, white water and/or sea kayaking, mountain biking, and sailing.

Criteria and application forms are available on SPARC’s website at

Applications close 15 October 2010 and successful applicants will be announced in December 2010.

The Hillary Expeditions Grants initiative was started in 2002, and every two years grants of up to $100,000 are awarded to help fund world class outdoor expeditions.
In the 2008/09 round, SPARC received 33 applications for funding. Seven expeditions were awarded grants ranging from $5000 to $30,000.

A panel, which includes one SPARC representative and others from outside the organisation, assesses the applications and determines the shortlist.

Applicants have 18 months to complete their expedition.


For further information, please contact Sue Eden, Senior Communications Advisor at SPARC ( on 04 472 8058 ext 3090 or 021 490 797.

SPARC is the government agency charged with promoting, encouraging and supporting sport and physical recreation in New Zealand. For more information, visit

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