High Performance Sport NZ Prime Minister's Athlete Scholarships allow athletes to undertake tertiary study and vocational qualifications while pursuing elite level sport at the same time. 

The scholarship scheme also helps retiring athletes move smoothly into another career once their sporting careers are over. 

The purpose of the Athlete Scholarship Programme is to invest in educational opportunities that enable world leading performances from New Zealand's top athletic talent, by assisting athletes to develop holistically outside sport in ways that contribute towards their post-athletic career and enable the sustainability of our athlete talent pool.

The programme supports the achievement of tertiary and vocational qualifications while pursuing excellence in sport. The programme provides support in:

  • High performance planning, including career advice to assist recipients to make well-considered decisions regarding Study Plans and workloads, and manage their lives effectively in the pursuit of sporting excellence
  • Financial contribution to academic fees (up to a maximum of $10,000 per year including GST if applicable)
  • Financial contribution towards other study costs (up to a maximum of $5,000 per year including GST if applicable), referred to as the Study Support Allowance (SSA), which may include living expenses, study expenses (for example, exam-related fees), and books.


The applicant must satisfy all of the following criteria:

  • Be a New Zealand citizen.

  • Be identified by HPSNZ as one of the following:

  1. A Carded Athlete within a HPSNZ Targeted Sport or within a HPSNZ Campaign Investment Sport
  2. An athlete within a Targeted Sport (or in special cases a Campaign Investment Sport) who is likely to become carded within the next 6 months and as agreed by HPSNZ, or
  3. In special cases, at the discretion of HPSNZ, an athlete in a non-Carded Campaign Investment Sport.
  • The proposed study must fit within the athlete's Individual Performance Plan (IPP) for the next 12-month period, with study requirements that do not restrict the athlete's ability to commit to their agreed national training and competition plans.

  • Submit a complete application.

  • Be endorsed by their NSO and HPSNZ leading up to and during the scholarship, which includes having an agreed study plan and/or development plan.

  • Have met all athlete requirements whilst studying under the scholarship in the previous 12 months, unless HPSNZ agrees otherwise (athletes re-applying for a scholarship only).

Application and Selection Process

The scholarship application closing date each year is as stipulated by the relevant NSO but no later than the programme deadline of 5pm, 30 November each year.  Early applications are appreciated but will not be considered until after the closing date.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand's application closing date is 5pm, 30th November each year.

To seek endorsement from SLSNZ please complete the Draft Application form and Athlete Study Plan below and email this to by the application closing date above. 

If you are intending on applying for a scholarship it is best to complete a draft application prior to submitting the online application. All scholarship related documents can be found under the forms section below.

Scholarships are awarded for 12-month periods (1 January-31 December) but athlete requirements apply in respect of six-month periods.  The six-month periods are 1 January-30 June and 1 July-31 December.

Please note the demand for scholarships typically exceeds the financial resources available so it is unlikely that all applicants will receive a scholarship. 

Applications are assessed and prioritised by a High Performance Sport NZ panel, comprised of people with skills in high performance programme management, scholarship management and performance services.


To be eligible, the qualification sought by the applicant must appear on the New Zealand Register of Quality Assured Qualifications, found at


HPSNZ - PM Information

Scholarship Management Portal

PMAS Athlete Study Plan Templates (excel)

PM Scholarship Programme Guide

PMAS Sport Memo 2019