Issue 26 : 24 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.

Fraser Park Sportsville ...

Today, after 8 years of planning and an investment of $15 million, the Fraser Park Sportsville (also known as the Ricoh Sports Centre) in Avalon, Hutt City, had its Grand Opening.

8 amateur sports entities are affiliated to the new sporting hub: Avalon Rugby; Fraser Park Squash; Lower Hutt City AFC; Taita Cricket; Naenae Hockey; Dodgers Softball; the Hutt Valley Softball Association; and the National Hockey Stadium Trust.

Hutt City’s General Manager of City & Community Services, Matt Reid, notes that the new facility was developed recognising the challenges facing amateur sport in the community, including falling participation, increasing costs and fewer volunteers.

(Matt Reid was a key driver of the Sportsville development at Fraser Park)

With 70% of the development cost funded by the Hutt City Council and the remainder achieved through fund-raising and corporate sponsorship, Reid acknowledges that it required the efforts of many passionate people to make the idea a reality.

Looking ahead, Reid sees that Fraser Park Sportsville will increase participation by children in sport, host regional and international sporting events and contribute to the general health and well-being of the local community.

The Association congratulates Matt and all of those involved in the development of Sportsville, for their roles in the creation of a fantastic community facility.

Recruiting More Volunteer Kids Sports Coaches ...

Last Thursday, on National Radio’s Nine-To-Noon programme, presenter Kathryn Ryan spoke with Sport New Zealand's Andy Rogers and Auckland Netball's Steph Bond, about the challenges arising from the falling number of junior coaches in amateur sports clubs.

(Many clubs are worried that they won't have enough coaches this winter sports season)

Findings from the Association’s 2018 National Survey of Amateur Sports Clubs were referenced by Kathryn as a catalyst for the discussion. You can listen to the programme, by clicking here.

Viewpoint : “The Monro Cup” ...

In the world of elite sport, little consideration is given to parallel pathways whereby talented players, not seeking professional status or opportunities, can still achieve community recognition for their talent and skill. Football has long recognised this need and created “the Chatham Cup” in which amateur players (including school teams) can compete in a national knock-out competition in which one team is eventually crowned as the National Club Champion.

(J. McCosh, Captain of the Thistle AFC team, winners of the Chatham Cup in 1934)

Another major sporting code, Rugby Union, is facing immense challenges in maintaining and growing participation in community clubs. It seems unusual that a similar type of competition has not been created as an incentive to keep players in the game for this sporting code. It may well be that their investment in Super Rugby franchises has curtailed possible enthusiasm for the idea among the major Provincial Unions.

However, for the purposes of discussion why not consider establishing “The Monro Cup” for Rugby Union? This could be: a National Tournament played over six months, (March to September); administered (and funded from the Quarter-Finals onwards) by New Zealand Rugby; open to any team playing in a Provincial Union premier club competition, with eligible players not to be contracted to New Zealand Rugby or their Provincial Union, in any manner.

Why "the Monro Cup"?

Charles John Monro was born in Nelson, and is considered to be one of those responsible for the introduction of Rugby Union to New Zealand. New Zealanders initially mainly played a form of football known as “the Australian code”. In 1870, Monro “persuaded those so engaged to change to Rugby [Union], thus playing a large part toward organising the new code”. “He also took part in the first interprovincial Rugby match Between Nelson and Wellington, played on the Petone Paddock, near the site where the railway station now stands.”

(Charles Monro, known as "the father" of New Zealand Rugby Union)

Perhaps New Zealand Rugby could consider the creation of "the Monro Cup”, as a fitting way to bring the Rugby Union code back to its roots as a community game.

Annual General Meeting ...

The Association was formed in April 2017 and will hold its second Annual General Meeting at 5.30pm, on Tuesday, 16 April in the Scott Room of the Wellesley Boutique Hotel in Wellington.

All current members, or interested members of the public, are warmly invited to attend. To confirm your attendance at the meeting (for catering purposes), please R.S.V.P. by clicking here, at your earliest convenience.

New UK Visa Rules Hit Amateur Sports Clubs ...

Amateur sports clubs in the UK with foreign students as members, are now falling foul of new regulations which classify many of their foreign players as “professionals”.

New Tier 4 visa regulations, which apply to students from outside the European Union, were introduced to the UK in January. They state that a “professional sportsperson” can include "anyone who has received payment in kind in the past four years for playing sport; has been registered with a professional or semi-professional team, including academy development team age groups; has represented their national team, including at youth level; their state or regional teams, including at youth level; or has an established international reputation."

(Aspiring to play at professional level is enough to classify students as "professionals")

For amateur sides that rely heavily on students from North America in particular, many of whom have earned sports scholarships in the United States, this has created problems. “To make matters more confusing, the definition of a professional is not about being paid; even having an aspiration to play at a professional level means you could fall foul of the rules”.

You can read more about how the regulations are affecting amateur clubs, by clicking here.

Sport Wellington – Sport Managers Forum ...

On Monday 19 March, the Association partnered with Sport Wellington in delivering a seminar to Regional Sport Organisations on funding and sponsorship, at Pelorus Trust SportsHouse in Seaview, Wellington.

The Association’s David King, Sport and Recreation Adviser for the Upper Hutt City Council (and Association Board Member), co-presented to 15 representatives of 7 sporting codes, with the objective of developing a template to assist them in accessing for community funding in support of their respective sports.

From The Archives ...


"(To the Editor.) Sir.—May I crave a little space in your widely read paper regarding the Community Sports Club. Probably the general public of the Upper Hutt district have not been aware that there is a centrally situated gymnasium here. This club was formed by a few enthusiasts some five years ago and up till recently carried on operations as a boxing and general gymnastic club at Silverstream, under the name of the Silverstream Community Sports Club. Having now taken over the premises lately known as Holladay's Garage, at Trentham, it will in future be known as the Community Sports Club.

(Silverstream was the home of the Community Sports Club Gymnasium in the 1930's)

This club is fitted up to cater generally for the physical welfare of the youth of the district. Safe and well-padded rings have been built for both boxing and wrestling, though up to the present boxing has been mainly concentrated on, the reason for this preference being the apparent dearth of competent wrestling instructors in the district, while for the sister sport we are fortunate in having a number of men who in their early days were boxers. These enthusiasts are now imparting their knowledge and experience to the younger generation. The club has also the services of a competent ju-jitsu instructor.

It remains for the public to give a measure of financial support to the club and also moral encouragement to the local boys by attending all tournaments. The local boys will be able to make their mark in a sport which calls for the highest attributes of courage and self-control. Apologising for taking up so much of your space and trusting this appeal will not be unsuccessful, I am, etc.,

FRANK W. KURTH, Hon. Instructor, Community Sports Club, Silverstream."

Frank William Edward Kurth, originally from Wanganui, was a boxer from a young age and a former member of the Wanganui Boxing Association. A carpenter by trade, Kurth moved to Kiln Street in Silverstream following his marriage to Emma Munro in 1916. In 1917, Kurth was selected in the 9th Military Ballot to complete the 33rd Reinforcements, but was not required to go overseas before the Great War ended. Following the war, he became an agent for the Rustless Door Pad Company (“all fittings rustless”), on the Main Road in Upper Hutt. The Great Depression had a material impact on the business and in 1929 Kurth was declared bankrupt by the Supreme Court of New Zealand.

Gaining employment with the Railway Department as a builder, Kurth founded the Silverstream Community Club the following year and created some success in developing aspiring boxers. In 1935, he was appointed the Manager/Trainer of the Wellington Boxing Association’s team which travelled to the South Island. In 1940, Kurth was posted to the 13th Railway Construction Company in Ngaruawahia and he served as a Corporal in the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force of New Zealand Engineers. A lifelong member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Frank Kurth died in 1983, at the age of 86.

The Final Word ...

“Minor sports need a helping hand monetarily and also encouragement to keep going.”

(Alexandra Petanque Club)

© 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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