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Athletes deserving support crew off to Rio

5 May 2016 

Volkswagen New Zealand has today announced it will be sending James and Lynette Imrie from Wellington to the Rio Olympic Games in recognition of their unwavering support for their daughter, canoe sprinter, Kayla Imrie. As a long-standing partner of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, Volkswagen has been

supporting not only Kiwi athletes, but the people who support them to be able to succeed in their sports.


The Imries’ ongoing guidance and assistance for their daughter was highlighted in a competition held by Volkswagen and the New Zealand Olympic Committee to send the deserving supporters of an Olympic athlete to Rio. They were nominated by Kayla, who described various ways in which her parents have selflessly supported her sporting journey.

Mr and Mrs Imrie have helped Kayla both emotionally and financially, often assisting with funding her trips away from home and supporting her through physical injuries and team selections.

“We’ve been on this journey just as much as Kayla has and this is a fantastic opportunity to ride the wave with her and to be a part of it is just amazing. We’re very proud of her and it’ll be great to be there to physically cheer the team on,” says Lynette. Volkswagen NZ General Manager Tom Ruddenklau is thrilled to be sending the Imries to the 2016 Olympic Games.

Mr Ruddenklau says, “We truly believe the people who support our athletes deserve equal recognition for the sacrifices they make in order for our athletes to excel. The Imries are a prime example of how family support has made a positive impact on Kayla’s sporting career and they deserve to be there in person in Rio.”

Kayla works as a part-time teacher aide with autistic children to support the costs that come with being an elite athlete, but says her parents have played a big part too and it means the world to her to be able to have her parents at the Games.

“It’s going to be one of the biggest moments of my life and to have the two most important people to me on the race line is exhilarating. It makes you want to do it not only for yourself, but for them,” says Kayla.

Volkswagen NZ has also worked with the New Zealand Olympic Committee to send the family of Olympic rower Brook Robertson to the Olympic Games, as well as Taranaki man Graeme Mehrtens for his contribution to basketball in his local community.

-ENDS-

Further information:

Laura Platts
Laura.platts@fcb.com
  021 040 5859 / 09 361 8677

Violet Hong
Violet.hong@fcb.com/ 021 140 1337 / 09 361 8695

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