Issue 21 : 23 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.

Wishing All Our Members & Supporters A Very Happy Christmas ...

This will be the final edition of “For the Love of the Game” for 2018. The next edition of the e-zine will be published on Sunday, 27 January 2019. Thank you to everyone who has provided input and feedback to our bi-weekly newsletter over the past year.

The Association's Board would like to wish all Members and Supporters an enjoyable and safe time with family and friends over the festive season.


Net Closes In On Community Clubs ...

The DominionPost (Wellington) and The Press (Christchurch), both reported on the findings of the Association’s national Amateur Club Survey in an in-depth article on the state of community sports clubs in New Zealand. The article confirmed the findings of the Association’s survey in noting the parlous circumstances of many community clubs.

You can read the full article by Sports Journalist Nikki Macdonald on-line, by clicking here, or you can read the PDF version of the newspaper article, by clicking here.

Survey Provides Valuable Insights To Community Club Challenges ...

Among the findings of the Association’s first National Survey of Amateur Sports Clubs, 83% of respondents said that "providing opportunities for their local community to participate in sport" was most important in terms of their strategy and activities, while only 7% saw their role as “promoting their members to national or international representation”.

The survey indicated that Clubs relish their roles in providing a meaningful connection across members in a community, through a shared love of their particular sporting code.

The absence of money as a motivating factor for participation in Clubs continues to be fundamental, although this sharply contrasts with the financial and organisational challenges in maintaining and operating a Club today. 

You can download the survey infographic, which shows a snapshot of survey key findings (as shown above), by clicking here.

Amateur Club Survey Draws Wide Media Response ...

Radio New Zealand, the New Zealand Herald, the Otago Daily Times, The Press and the DominionPost have all reported widely on the results of the survey.

Radio New Zealand Sports Journalist Bridget Tunnicliffe prepared a number of mult-media reports exploring different aspects of the survey results and their implications. You can listen to Bridget’s report on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report, by clicking here.

One Sporting Hub Opens, Another Is Planned ...

Last week, the new RICOH Sports Centre at Fraser Park in Lower Hutt, which required the local community to raise over $3.3 million, was officially opened. The centre includes six squash courts, indoor artificial turf training space, sport administration offices and meeting facilities, ten changing rooms, a cafe, bar and restaurant. It will be used by local Rugby Union, Softball, Hockey, Football and Squash Clubs.

Also last week, the Independent Herald reported that, after 11 years of planning, the Wellington City Council has now committed $2.2 million to construct a new Sports Hub at Alex Moore Park in Johnsonville. Local Cricket, Rugby Union, Football and Harriers Clubs will be responsible for raising the additional $2 million for the $4.2 million facility to be built.

“School Sport” Or “Club Sport”? – The Debate Intensifies ...

Sports journalist Steve Kilgallon writes that in the United States, “bar the fraction of a percent who become professional sportspeople, everyone else simply stops playing organised competitive sport at age 18”, which has the outcome that “the United States has virtually no amateur sports pyramid of the sort we would recognise”.

He also notes, “I want my kids playing their sport in a club environment, in the neighbourhood they've grown up in, around the kids they've known for years, at a place where they know they can play for decades to come if they wish, no matter what their ability.”

You can read Steve’s thoughts on the role of sport in the community, by clicking here.

When Sport Is No Longer Fun ...

In what could be a warning signal for some sports in New Zealand secondary schools, Baseball could be losing its status as Japan’s most popular sport as more and more children turn away from the game, due to tough high school programmes and amid changing trends in sports participation in the country.

17-year-old Kei Tanaka from Tokyo told Reuters “Baseball used to be fun for me and then it wasn’t. The coaches expect too much.” “We trained so much and had to combine that with homework so we never had any time to relax,” added Kosuke Saito.

The Association notes that a major issue with falling participation in some sports is that simply it’s not fun for teenagers to play the game anymore, with other "easier" (less demanding) sports winning the contest for young people’s enjoyment.

You can read the full report from Reuters, by clicking here.

The Slow Death Of The Sports Club Volunteer ...

Steve Deane, from, recently wrote that when it comes to community sport, “collectively we contribute less these days, but that hasn’t stopped us expecting more.”

Deane also observes that when it comes to volunteers in sport, “Rome is aflame. And the few remaining hardy souls in the volunteer fire brigade are powerless to halt the blaze. Beyond a total restructure of community sport bankrolled by an engaged government, there are no obvious solutions.”

The Association’s national survey of Amateur Sports Clubs indicates that fewer volunteers are expected to do more to maintain their Clubs. You can read Steve’s full article by clicking here.

From The Archives ...



Club Memberships Fall

“Sport, like practically every other human activity, has suffered from the effects of the economic depression. The reaction has been a perfectly natural one, and is evidenced this summer in the tendency toward a reduction in the numbers taking part in the more expensive sports, and an increase in the numbers following those sports that require a smaller outlay in equipment and subscriptions.

Golf and tennis, perhaps, have been the sports most seriously affected by the universal desire for economy. Memberships of Christchurch golf clubs have shown a shrinkage that has caused their officials some concern, and in many cases reductions of subscriptions and the waiving of the entrance fee rules have been resorted to, in order to maintain the strength of the clubs.

No ardent golfer, of course, will give up the game except as a last resort, but any number have shown a willingness to go for their games where the least cost to themselves is incurred. It was pointed out that Christchurch clubs were doing all that was reasonably possible to meet the prevailing conditions.”

For New Zealand, as for most of the world, the great depression of the early 1930s (triggered in 1929 by the collapse of the New York sharemarket), was the most shattering economic experience ever recorded. As noted in the above newspaper report, the resulting cuts to wages and increased unemployment meant that membership of sports clubs was directly affected.

(Tennis Clubs were among those most severely affected by the Depression of the 1930's)

While it was reported that golf, tennis, cricket and racing clubs were most severely affected nationally; swimming, tramping (up by 25%) and athletics clubs recorded a parallel surge in membership. In the case of the Canterbury Mountaineering Club, it was specifically noted that the low subscriptions meant that “the enthusiast is able to suit his needs to his pocket, without sacrificing any of his enjoyment”.

(Tramping Clubs experienced a 25% growth in membership during the economic downturn)

The Final Word ...

“Altruism is one of the most fundamentally social impulses, and doing things for others without expecting anything in return is core to what makes us human.”

(Joe Green – Founder of “Causes”)

© 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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