From The Southland Times
Southland athletes have been offered 5000 extra reasons to qualify for this year's Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.
The Community Trust of Southland is offering Southland athletes who qualify for the Games a $5000 bonus for their efforts.
Community Trust of Southland chief executive John Prendergast said for the majority of the Commonwealth Games hopefuls their organisation had provided support previously through other programmes, including the Academy of Southland setup.
However, he said the $5000 bonus was reward for a lot of hard work that they had put in to get to India. It would also help ease some financial pressures they may have on them to get to various meets around the world in the leadup to the October Commonwealth Games.
Southland could well have a large representation at the Games and Mr Prendergast said that had to be positive for the province's image.
"People are starting to notice all the top-level sports people that are coming out of Southland. It's credit to the wide range of facilities we have down here now, as well as the academy programmes that are in place," he said.
Southland is expected to have a large Commonwealth Games contingent, although at this stage just swimmer Natalie Wiegersma has been confirmed.
Cyclists Tom Scully and Eddie Dawkins are almost certainties to go but the track squad is still yet to be finalised.
Scully departs Invercargill today to compete overseas with him likely to spend time in America, Ireland, Belgium and France before he heads to India for the Commonwealth Games.