Issue 29 : 5 May 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.

2019 Board Appoints Executive Roles ...

At the Association’s first Board Meeting (following the Annual General Meeting), Gordon Noble-Campbell and Dr. Farib Sos were appointed Chair and Deputy Chair, with Will Caccia-Birch accepting the role as Board Secretary. Tony Meachen was re-appointed Association Treasurer.

Singapore's "Turf City" In Developer’s Sights ...

The Editor is currently on-location in Singapore, where many issues similar to those impacting on New Zealand amateur sport, are topics of discussion and debate.

The Bukit Timah Turf Club (known locally as "Turf City") was originally founded in 1842 by Scotsman, William Read. It is now in the sights of the city-state’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, to be converted into a residential area. Today, on what was Singapore's first horse-racing track, "people from all walks of life, gather to play sports ranging from Futsal to Frisbee"

("Short of lightning and thunder, people flock to "Turf City", day and night")

The Singapore Rugby Union says that “on a normal rugby day, there will be about six games being played on two of the fields, while all four fields are filled with kids' matches and training from 8am to noon." "If the lease is not extended, rugby is in trouble. The more than 2,000 members of the various junior rugby clubs will not have a place to train and play."

(Singapore's Tanglin Rugby Club, based at "Turf City", may loses it's playing fields)

Robert Devine, from the Singapore-based touch rugby club Tin Hill Royals Touch, believes the loss of Turf City would a huge loss for sports generally. "The sports community will be left without a venue where grassroots sports enthusiasts can run around, and where competitive sport can be played socially, or to the highest level."

The future looks grim for "Turf City". As one local taxi-driver commented to the Editor earlier today, "Singaporeans don't play a lot of sport - and that is expensive real-estate!"

You can read more, here.

Association Appoints Canterbury Branch Chairman ...

The Association has appointed Warren Inkster, a Founding Member of the Association based in Rangiora, as the Branch Chairman for the Canterbury region. Warren works as a public relations and marketing communications consultant and has a diverse background across Central Government, Local Authorities, Government agencies and private enterprise. 

In the coming months, Warren will be supporting the Board's objectives in growing the Association’s profile and membership within Canterbury’s sporting community.

Lack Of Volunteers Forces Football Club To Face Closure ...

One of the oldest amateur football clubs in Wales has said it may not be able to continue next season. Ton Pentre AFC, which has played in Europe and the FA Cup, can trace its history back to 1896. However, the future of the Club is at risk because of a lack of volunteers needed to fill roles behind the scenes.

A steady decline in volunteer numbers has left an "acute strain" on the few who remain and say they cannot carry on. "The club faces a desperate shortage of people that have the modern skills to take the club forward," according to one Club Official.

(The 1906 Ton Petre team - photo credit,

The Club, which competes in the second tier of the Welsh leagues, said it would be forced to withdraw from all competitions and "could cease to exist" before the 2019/20 season without greater local support. You can read more, here

Viewpoint : Career Choices Need To Be About More Than Just The Money ...

At its most generous definition, “education” is about developing and expanding the capacity to think, analyse, understand and create. A narrower definition is that an education is the means to productive life-long employment, that also has social benefits. The narrowest definition is that it is simply about maximising personal income. 

In the world of professional sport recruitment, teenage aspirants may be inclined to gloss over the first two definitions, in preference to the attractions of the third. And, why not? If an athletic teenager with a sporting skill devotes their time to the development of this talent, with the prospect of future financial success, is that not laudable?

However given that the apex of the pyramid for peak-earning in sport is small, athletic talent is not a transferable asset to many other adult careers, and the end of an athlete’s career is often only an injury away, caution is advisable. The promise is alluring, the reality less so.

Young adults who experience the disappointment of high-performance sporting rejection, often having exhausted their physical and mental capacity in its pursuit, can find it hard to rekindle the passion spent on that unsuccessful outcome, when trying to develop other areas of employment skill. Indeed, professional sport has a moral responsibility to youth, to ensure that their ability to develop long-term career skills is not jeopardised in the process of recruitment.

Parents also have a responsibility to keep things for their talented teenage athletes in perspective. Dr. Charles A. Popkin, from the Columbia University Medical Centre notes that, “what parents want and what parents hope to gain from their children’s participation in youth sports, is often at a significant extreme to what the kids actually want.”

From The Archives ...



"I am not narrow-minded in regard to sport, and there is no clean, healthy sport anywhere that I have not played and would not play now, even to football. but I am Puritan enough to want to see all sport clean, and I do not want this country to be run by and for the sake of sport," declared the Rev. Howard Elliott, in a sermon entitled "The Meddling Puritans and the Sport God," delivered at the Mount Eden Baptist Church.

He led up to an attack on the movement to organise a Sports Protection League by referring to what, he claimed to be the first occasion in history, in which the prophets protested against the dancing, drinking, licentiousness, debauchery, corruption, and contamination prevalent in Israel 4,600 years ago, and declared that the conditions in the Dominion in the twentieth century were not very different to those of the ancient time.

(Howard Elliott was no fan of "insane recreation", or the Catholic Church)

The preacher considered that the presence of the president of the New Zealand Amateur Association at the recent meeting held in Wellington would do more to damage amateurism in the Dominion than anything else that had happened.

Personally, he said, he would enjoy nothing better than to see a horse race providing it was dissociated from the existing evil conditions and contaminating influences. He deplored the enormous amount of money spent on racing. It was also regrettable that in Auckland the amusements bill for a year totalled £649,000, while only £28,900 was spent in healthy athletics. It showed that the people were not worshipping the god of sane recreation, of pure pleasure, healthy athletic development, but were going in for insane recreation.” 

Howard Leslie Elliott was a protestant polemicist who railed against the Catholic Church and the Labour Party, helping the Reform Party of William Massey to win the 1907 General Election. As noted above, he was an out-spoken critic of the Sports Protection League, which among other objectives, sought to protect horse-racing, which was facing regulatory restrictions. In the era post the Great War, Elliott’s influence on politics and political thought waned considerably.

(William Massey, centre, preparing to compete in a "100 metre dash" in Auckland)

The Final Word ...

“You want kids playing sports through life. The more sports kids play, the better they learn adaptability. They learn how to learn.”

(Charles A. Popkin, Columbia University Medical Centre)

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

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P O Box 582, Wellington, 6140

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