Issue 20 : 9 December 2018

Talofa Lava, Kia Orana, Malo E Leilei, Tena Koutou, Hello ...

... and welcome to the latest issue of “For The Love Of The Game”, the official e-zine of the New Zealand Amateur Sport Association Inc. We hope you enjoy reading the articles below. 

If you have any feedback on this issue, ideas for future articles, or would like to contact the Editor, please click here. And, you are invited to forward the e-zine to others you know, who may be interested in reading it.

If you are interested in applying for membership of the Association, please click here.

Survey Offers Insights Into Amateur Sports Clubs ...

The results of the Association’s inaugural National Survey of Amateur Sports Club will be revealed next week, with a Board approved Media Release to be made on Monday.

The survey results indicate that an ethos of amateurism is still alive and well across New Zealand, including the belief that members/volunteers should run a Sports Club. However to remain viable in the future, there is a need for more resources (financial or otherwise), which provide more sophisticated organisational support to Clubs.

The first of the Association’s regional seminars to discuss the Survey results, will be held in Wellington at the Wellesley Club, Maginnity Street at 5.30pm this Wednesday, 12 December. (The other four regional seminars have been postponed until early 2019).

If you intend to attend the seminar, but have not yet registered to do so, please click here.

The Association would like to extend its warm thanks to Michael Naylor (PhD), Shima Behnoosh (PhD) and Katharine Hoskyn of Auckland University of Technology, for their repsective roles in analysing the Survey data and preparing the Survey report. The Association also thanks Unlimited Limited for their ongoing design and communications support. Finally, the web and IT team at Expert Services provided significant support in preparing and operating the Survey, for which the Association is extremely grateful.

Most Clubs See Their Community Role As Most Important ...

When asked to rank the relative importance of (i) providing opportunities for the local community to participate in their sport; (ii) providing academy-type skills development for talented players/participants; and (iii) member representation at a national or international level in their sport, 83% of respondents in the Assocation's national survey of amateur sports clubs said that "providing opportunities for their local community to participate in sport" was most important in terms of their strategy and activities.

Only 7% of respondents indicated that "creating opportunities for members to be national or international representatives" of their code, was most important for their Club.

A Community Asset Faces A Financial Calamity ...

147 years after first being founded, last month Neath Rugby Football Club in Wales was (for the first time in the Club’s history) unable to raise a team to play their scheduled "Principality Premiership" match against Bedwas. Money (or more specifically, the lack of it), was the underlying reason.

Neath is the oldest Rugby Union Club in Wales, but in recent times the Club has reportedly struggled to make ends meet, as the cost of paying players has continued to rise. Until the 1990’s, Neath was a purely amateur club and played a big part in establishing and maintaining the local community’s identity.

The Director of Neath Rugby Limited, Mike Cuddy is reported to have said last week that the Club’s “expensive and underperforming players [do] not understand our values or have the club at heart”. Former Neath and Wales Captain Paul Thorburn said “clubs like [Neath] should never be allowed to fall by the wayside. They are a community asset.”

You can read more about Neath’s current challenges, by clicking here.

Debt Forces Liquidation Of Avondale Bowling Club ...

Members of the Avondale Bowling Club have recently voted to wind-up the 106 year old Club and sell all of the Club’s assets. Dwindling membership, together with the loss of bar and gambling licenses as a revenue source, resulted in the Club’s annual Statement of Financial Performance deteriorating to the level that for 2017, it reported a “surplus before beneficiary distributions”, of minus $103,000.

(Happier times at the Avondale Bowling Club, in the early 1930's)

You can read more about the background to the Club’s closure, by clicking here.

National Radio To Report On National Amateur Club Survey ...

You can listen to Radio New Zealand’s report on the Association’s national survey of Amateur Sports Clubs on Morning Report, on Monday. RNZ's Digital and Sport Journalist, Bridget Tunnicliffe has prepared a report based on the Survey results and interviews with Club representatives from across the country.

From The Archives ...



“Competitors who take part regularly in athletics in their own centres, or who used to do so formerly, were mainly successful at the first New Zealand Public Service amateur athletic championship meeting, held on the Basin Reserve yesterday afternoon. The competition was keen throughout, and there was quite an exciting tussle between Wellington and Canterbury in the interprovincial team contest.

The final points were: Wellington, 70; Canterbury, 64; Otago, 48; Auckland, 25; West Coast (North Island), 11; Hawke's Bay-Poverty Bay, 5. National tennis and swimming championships have also been held, and the total points gained in the three sections give Wellington a substantial lead. Wellington's total points are 146 and Canterbury are next with 96 points.”

An innovation of the first Labour Government in 1935, was the establishment of a Public Service Sports Society in each region of the country, to promote the benefits of organised team sport to state sector employees, with competitions held between the various Government departments located in each region. Any profits generated from holding events were donated to charity.

In 1936, Robert George (“Bob”) Ewing, an employee of the Tourist Department and a member of the Wellington Public Service Sports Society, promoted the idea of an interprovincial Public Service sports tournament, to be held during New Zealand’s centenary celebrations in 1940. Unfortunately Bob Ewing died in 1939 (at the age of 38), not having had the opportunity to see his interprovincial sports idea become a reality.

(Bob Ewing, left, promoted the idea of a National Sports Tournament for Public Servants)

In addition to his work for the Public Service Sports Society, Ewing was the force behind the establishment of Wellington’s first athletic track at Hataitai Park and a keen member of the Wellington Rugby Football Club. Following his death, the Kiwi Athletic Club noted that “we are all united in the mourning the loss of a grand fellow and a grand sportsman."

The Final Word ...

“The quality of your life will be determined by the quality of your contribution”.

(Kurek Ashley)

© New Zealand Amateur Sport Association Inc. (2669211), 2017

Registered Office, Level 1, 57 Willis Street, Wellington, 6011

P O Box 582, Wellington, 6140

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