Issue 25 : 10 March 2019

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.

Community Engagement Is Most Important For Amateur Clubs ...

In the Association's 2018 survey of Amateur Sports Clubs, undertaken in partnership with AUT, the Association asked respondents to rank the relative importance of three strategic goals, for their Club: community engagement/involvement; development of talented players through academy-type coaching; and having their Club members achieve representation on the national (or international) stage.

85% of survey respondents said that community engagement was the single most important goal of their Club. When it came to player development through coaching, 61% said it was somewhat important. However of particular note, nearly 60% of survey respondents said that club members achieving representation on the national or international stage was the least important objective for their Club.

(Community comes first for most amateur sports clubs in New Zealand)

While many national sporting bodies might consider that their amateur clubs are the "feeder" of their future elite performers, the survey responses suggest this is not the primary focus of the clubs themselves. Only 17% of Amateur Clubs consider that having their players achieve recognition nationally or internationally is their single most important goal.

Former Coach Urges Urgent Changes ...

Former All Blacks Coach, Wayne Smith, has voiced his concerns about the growing disconnection between the sport of Rugby Union and the community.

Smith notes, "the community used to revolve around the rugby club. It doesn't anymore and probably never will again. Rugby clubs are under huge pressure to keep going, they don't get their provincial players for the whole competition, they never get their Super Rugby players and they never see an All Black. Somehow reversing that trend would probably be good for communities. Unless we try things, it's just going to keep declining.”

You can read Wayne Smith’s full comments on changes he believes are necessary “to help a declining game avoid a disaster”, by clicking here

“Recreational Athletes” Captured In DFSNZ Net ...

In a recent decision concerning a member of a local surf life-saving and golf club, the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand (STNZ) found that Drug-Free-Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ) “did have the discretion to expand the definition of “athlete” to include recreational athletes.”

“The Tribunal has made some observations as to the implications of people belonging to sports clubs finding themselves, by virtue of that membership and whether they participate in competitive sport at all, subject to the anti-doping regime that has previously been thought to be restricted to athletes competing in serious sport, either at international or national or the very least inter-club level.

It has also expressed other concerns relating to the administration of the anti-doping regime generally. Given that many of the drugs that are on the prohibited list because of their performance enhancing qualities are also prescribed by doctors and marketed to people who do not play competitive sport for medicinal and general health reasons, the Tribunal has said that the implications of this Decision should receive public attention.”

While this Association has not considered a response to STNZ’s decision, it is clear that many who are involved in amateur sports teams, and compete against other teams, are also quite possibly receiving medication, “for medicinal and general health reasons."

(Over 500,000 New Zealanders suffer from asthma; many take part in amateur sport)

For example, amateur (or "recreational") sports people who use asthma inhalers as part of their involvement in a competitive sport, now appear (based on STNZ’s decision) to be subject to DFSNZ’s "limited intake thresholds" of their medication. This may make their future participation untenable if they are unable to accurately monitor (or limit) their usage as required.

Wider public discussion is clearly necessary.

Annual General Meeting - Tuesday, 16 April 2019 ...

The second Annual General Meeting of the Association, will be held at the Wellesley Boutique Hotel, Maginnity Street, Wellington at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 16 April.

All Members (and those interested in the Association's Objects), are warmly invited to attend.

"Win At All Costs" Mentality A Danger To Mental Health ...

Sports and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson says New Zealand sport's "win-at-all-cost" mentality is putting athletes' well-being at risk. Robertson said "I think the win-at-all-cost mentality everybody now acknowledges is not serving the players or sport well."

(New Zealand's Minister for Sport and Recreation, Grant Robertson)

While the Minister’s comments appeared to be directed at those participating at the elite level of sport in New Zealand, focus also needs to be given to the down-stream effect of the so-called elite-pathway on the mental health of amateur participants, particularly children and teenagers.

The conveyor-belt approach to sport performance in New Zealand, where community organisations are often seen as the development pool for future sporting stars, is also creating mental-health issues for teenagers either fast-tracked into professional sports development, or rejected from the elite path-way (following earlier talent identification). 

You can read the full article containing the Minister’s comments, by clicking here.

From The Archives ...




“An appeal to all sporting organisastions to co-operate to form a national organisation which could advise and guide the Government, and promote also a better spirit of cultural and physical well-being in the community, was made by the Minister of Physical Welfare (Hon. W. E. Parry) in an address last night to representatives of Dunedin sporting bodies. "An active organisation within the community devoted to fostering the physical, moral, and spiritual characteristics of the people would make for better national well-being and health", said Mr Parry.

NOT A NEW ZEALAND HITLER. "I have been described as a Hitler, and it has been alleged that I am trying to 'Hitlerise' New Zealand," added the Minister. "I do hold strong convictions about recreation and the right of people to enjoy whatever forms of recreation they desire. If I compelled a person to do a thing, however, it is not recreation."

The introduction of a card system into the schools, by which masters could indicate the pupils' sporting preferences, enabled follow-up action by interested clubs and societies. By such means it was hoped to introduce preventive medicine. He himself could think of nothing better than community centres which would cater for all the cultural and physical activities of the people.

At the conclusion of his address, the Minister answered a number of questions.”

(“I’m no Hitler” – W E Parry (left) congratulates R D McGregor, of the Brooklyn Harrier Club, after winning the Wellington Provincial Marathon Championship)

Known as “the father of the House of Representatives”, William Edward (Bill) Parry served as a Member of Parliament for 32 years from 1919 to 1951.

Parry was also known as “the father of the Physical Welfare and Recreation Act 1937”, the precedent for which came principally from Germany, where the National Socialist German Workers' Party in the 1930's, was encouraging the adult population to increase their physical fitness. As indicated in the article above, New Zealanders eventually became somewhat wary of this connection (and of direct Government influence over sport in the community, generally).

Australian by birth (and a socialist himself), Parry was a big man and a vegetarian, with a life-long interest in physical activity. He was keen on cycling, fishing and shooting. Parry set up Parliament’s gymnasium and was frequently seen pummelling its punch-ball. Parry believed the absence of physical fitness weakened "the moral fibre of the nation".

By the end of the 1940’s, the Government had largely discontinued grants to sports clubs for equipment and facilities, with the Physical Welfare and Recreation Branch downsized to two people, (never to be resuscitated).

The Final Word ...

"Many of our members depend on the human contact they receive through the Club. For us, amateurism is more about giving people a sense of belonging."

(Brooklyn Northern United AFC)

© 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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