MEDIA RELEASE – for immediate release
3 October 2016
Asia New Zealand Foundation supports Sri Lanka rugby coaching clinic
It wasn’t just trade, tourism and regional issues discussed at the bilateral meeting between Prime Minister John Key and
his Sri Lankan counterpart Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at Government House on Saturday.
The Joint Statement issued by the two Prime Ministers on Saturday also refered to the countries’ love of sport, and
welcomed a rugby coaching programme, which was partly funded by the Asia New Zealand Foundation.
This month, NZ Rugby delivered World Rugby Level 2 coaching skills and standards workshops in Sri Lanka. The programme,
held in Colombo and Kandy, included training for local coaches, training club teams and a school visit.
“There are many threads that weave together the peoples of Sri Lanka and New Zealand, said Asia NZ Foundation Executive
Director Simon Draper.
“There’s our shared Commonwealth heritage, our love or cricket and rugby, our love of tea. Trade links are growing
continually and the Foundation is delighted to be able to support initiatives like this that will also grow our sporting
connections, from school to elite levels.”
“Sport is an important way for New Zealanders to build connections with Asia and peoples of Asia - and it's a new area
that the Foundation is working on. Our focus includes organising cultural workshops for New Zealand sports teams
travelling to Asia.”
Sri Lanka is the Foundation’s priority country for South Asia for 2016/17.