Tanner donates $1m for coaching

New Zealand hockey received a major funding boost yesterday, with former Black Stick Jon Tanner and his wife Sue giving $1million to hockey to help ''coach the coaches''.

Tanner says hockey, like many sports, has often struggled to keep good coaches in the game.

''Developing and keeping good coaches is critical for the sport. Promising coaches who want help, often can't easily get it. We need to give them all the support they need.''

The Tanner's donation will be made through the Hockey Foundation, a charitable trust that raises funds for the growth and development of hockey. Tanner was the foundation's founding chairman.

Hockey Foundation Chair Alan Lints is delighted the donation will focus on a key component of grassroots hockey.

''Many sponsors and funders want to focus their money on the elite level of the sport because of the profile it brings. It's great to see the Tanner's contribution focusing on ensuring hockey is strong and vibrant at a grassroots level by supporting coaching in the provinces - where it all starts.''

Hockey New Zealand Chief Executive Ian Francis says the sport is very grateful to the Tanners for their support.

''Jon and Sue's contribution will go a long way to ensuring coaching is a priority, with the leadership of a connected coach developer network, our coaches can access the support they need,'' he said.

''It's all about having quality coaching with the right players at the right time in the right environments underpinned by quality domestic competitions.''

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