The New Zealand Olympic Committee has announced ISPS Handa as its charity partner for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The announcement was made at an Olympic Day Sports Programme for Auckland school students, attended by New Zealand Team athletes and ISPS Handa Patron Sir John Key.
ISPS Handa (also known as the International Sports Promotion Society) is a Japanese organisation which supports charitable causes.
The partnership will help take the New Zealand Team to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with the organisations also set to work together on social good projects in Japan.
New Zealand Team Chef de Mission Rob Waddell says the organisations have a common goal of improving the lives of individuals and communities through sport.
“The New Zealand Team has always looked for opportunities to ‘give back’ to host nations and communities as part of the team culture and manaakitanga,” said Waddell.
“Through this partnership, the New Zealand Team will have the support of ISPS Handa to deliver community outreach projects in Japan that will leave a legacy beyond the team’s presence at the Olympic Games.
"Our athletes know how privileged they are and always enjoy connecting and giving back to the local communities which host them."
At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games the New Zealand Team was able to donate 6,000 items of clothing as well as sporting equipment and 1500 spectator tickets to disadvantaged members of the Mangueira community (favela). Athletes also gave up their time to coach local children.
The support of ISPS Handa will allow the New Zealand Team to use its platform to take sport to schools and communities in Japan, strengthening New Zealand Japan relations through team outreach.
Athletes David Liti (weightlifting), Emma Twigg (rowing), Brooke Neal (hockey) and Mike Dawson (canoe slalom) are all involved in social good projects and attended the announcement.
“Sport has changed my life for the better and I honestly don't know what I'd be doing if I hadn't found weightlifting," said Liti.
"I got into weightlifting through volunteers and a lot of my competition has been made possible by generous organisations like ISPS Handa."
ISPS Handa Patron Sir John Key says the organisations have a great synergy, with both passionate about the ability of sport to change lives.
“ISPS Handa is extremely pleased to support the New Zealand Team and is looking forward to using this partnership to allow more people to access sport," said Sir John.
“The Kiwi athletes preparing for Tokyo 2020 are remarkable men and women and we’re proud to be working with this incredible team as it gears up for the Olympic Games.”
The partnership with ISPS Handa will also see the organisations host charity galas in Tokyo and New Zealand which will support fundraising for the New Zealand Team as well as support charitable activity in Japanese communities.
Additionally ISPS Handa will provide on ground services for the New Zealand Team in Japan, including translation and event hosting support.
The new initiatives will align with the New Zealand Team’s existing community work including the Olympic Ambassador programme, which sees Olympians share their stories with thousands of New Zealand children every year.
ISPS Handa joins the New Zealand Team’s family as the official Charity Partner.
About ISPS Handa
International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS, also known as ISPS Handa) is a Japanese charitable organisation founded by Japanese philanthropist Dr. Haruhisa Handa. The organisation is known for its support of charitable causes and currently holds domestic sponsorships with Football NZ, The NZ Golf Open and The Halberg Awards.
ISPS Handa’s international sponsorships extend to the PGA Seniors Championship and LPGA Women's Australian Open tournaments and others helping the promotion of the physically disabled in golf and sport. ISPS Handa is a member of the Tokyo Sports Association, a public-interest incorporated foundation aiding the development of sport in Tokyo.
Dr. Handa is known for promoting Blind Golf and introducing blind golf to Japan. ISPS is committed to promote disabled golf to be adopted as an official event of the Paralympics.
About The New Zealand Team
The New Zealand Olympic Committee was established in 1911. Since then, we have used our unique mandate to select and lead more than 60 New Zealand Teams to Olympic and Commonwealth Games across the globe.
Our athletes and teams are at the heart of our organisation and their stories have become integral to our national identity. They represent Aotearoa New Zealand with honour and pride and the silver fern is a symbol of their sporting success.
For decades our teams and athletes have showcased our unique culture and values on the world stage as well as promoting excellence and innovation through their stories and success.
We are a charity and rely heavily on commercial and other funding partnerships as we promote sport and the Olympic values and help create New Zealand history.
We are engaged in education programmes for young New Zealanders and, through Olympic Solidarity and other partnerships, help fund athlete and sport development.
We are proud to represent the Olympic and Commonwealth sporting movements in New Zealand.