Gold medalists stay with 470 for 2016 and pick up Christchurch backers

Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie acknowledge the crowd after their 2012 Olympic Gold Medal

2012 Olympic Gold Medalists in the Womens Two hander (470), Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie, have announced they will stay with the 470 for the 2016 Olympics.

The announcement came at a function in Christchurch organised by Apollo Projects, a Christchurch based project management and design company, who has got behind the Gold Medal winning crew.

Previously it had been announced that Apollo would be spearheading a a sponsorship program for the womens crew, which will also have benefits for young sailors in Canterbury.

Christchurch company Apollo Projects Ltd is to lead a sponsorship programme for Olympic sailing gold medallists Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie.

Apollo Projects CEO Paul Lloyd says: 'We met Jo and Polly at a function in Christchurch and were amazed at how much they had been able to achieve with limited resources. Their focus was totally on performance with little time being available to organise extra sponsorship.'

Besides providing cash as part of the one-year sponsorship deal, Apollo worked to bring other sponsors on board to assist with their programme.

Supporting Apollo as Principal Sponsor are Gold Sponsors, John Jones Steel, O’Donnell Griffin, Active Refrigeraration, Profile Construction, boat sponsor Kingspan Insulated Panels and car sponsor Flexi Lease.

Jo Aleh says the sponsorship package is a big boost for their Rio programme.

'When we competed in England, conditions were not that far away from those we were used to in New Zealand, but Brazil is a totally different kettle of fish. We need to spend as much time as we can sailing over there to have a chance in 2016.'

Apollo has had some involvement in sponsoring swimming and rowing at a national level and the company has been keen to extend a helping hand to other athletes.

Among the projects Apollo is involved in as part of the Canterbury rebuild is development of High Performance Sport NZ’s new $3.5m facility adjacent to Jellie Park.