Issue 35 : 28 July 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.

Association Supports Wellington Club Finals Day ...

With nine Finals being played at a single location, Wellington Rugby celebrated another season of community rugby at the Petone Recreation Ground on Saturday. The Association was pleased to be part of the event, which saw Northern United win the Jubilee Cup for the first time since 2010 and Oriental-Rongotai successfully defend the Tia Passi Cup.

(Thousands were present for the annual Wellington Club Rugby Finals in Petone)

The Petone Recreation Ground was first leased to the Wellington Rugby Union by the Petone Borough Council in 1909, with the Grandstand (from which a large portion of the crowd numbering in their thousands watched the Cup Finals), being built in 1939. Dubbed the “Blue Collar Final”, the Jubilee Cup match between Northern Union and Wainuiomata celebrated the diverse communities of both Clubs, demonstating Wellington Rugby’s vision of ensuring Rugby Union is a “Game For All”.

(Selwyn Morgan, long-standing Score-Board Operator at the Petone Recreation Ground)

Mornington Golf Club Celebrates Community ...

The Mornington Golf Club was established alongside the Berhampore Golf Course in 1916 as the very first public golf course in New Zealand. The course was established to provide the working-classes an opportunity to play golf, a focus that remains today. The Club moved to a new site in 2010 to expand the Club’s focus around community-connectiveness, also increasing the variety of sports and supporting those who have disabilities.

(The Mornington Golf Club has been part of South Wellington's community since 1916)

The golf course is unique where the space is shared with players, community members walking their dogs, running, cyclists, and those walking for fitness. The club now provides: Golf (men’s, ladies, juniors, all abilities); Disc Golf; Special Olympics Bocce; Tai Chi; Indoor Bowls; Lawn Bowls and a play-group established for local parents and their children.

(Mornington Golf's Ray Tuffin leads the STAR programme for players with disabilities)

The Club stages a community night each month where the local community share a meal with their friends and family. A number of family days are celebrated throughout the year with a community free lunch focused on those in isolation and those living within social housing. Local schools are actively involved in the club running their funding raising quiz nights through to staging their cross-country events.

Grassroots Rugby In Wales “Dying On Its Feet” ...

While the Welsh national side won the "Six Nations Grand Slam" in 2018, its being reported that amateur sides in Wales have been struggling to attract players.

(While more children are playing rugby in Wales, senior Clubs are struggling for numbers)

The Wales Rugby Union has said that positive initiatives have led to a huge increase in participation in schools and colleges, but about 30% of teams in the amateur second and third divisions said they had postponed games this season because of a lack of players. And 80% said they had had at least one fixture postponed because the opposition could not raise a side.

You can read more about Wales' rugby challenge, here.

E-Sport Tournament Offers $30 Million Prize Pool ...

The creators of an on-line fantasy game where players fight off zombie-like creatures have created a World Cup competition with a prize-pool of US$30 million, in which players as young as 13 years old have been able to participate. This weekend sees this the final round of the competition in which 100 players, many of whom are under 18 years old, will compete. Its reported there are no women among the finalists, with most competitors under the age of 20.

(Many e-Sport Tournaments have developed into significant commerical enterprises)

Following the heightened in interest in e-Sports, there is also a heightened interest in the health and well-being of those (particularly children), who enjoy them. In May this year, the 194 members of the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised “gaming disorder”, (behaviour associated with “digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) as an illness at its 72nd "World Health Assembly." The disorder is characterised by the WHO as "impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences."

(The World Health Organisation has recognised "gaming disorder" as a new global illness)

To be diagnosed as suffering from the disorder, a person must demonstrate "all three of the following symptoms for at least 12 months: losing control over gaming; prioritising gaming to the extent that it takes precedence over other activities and interests; and continuing to game despite negative effects on work, school, family life, health, hygiene, relationships, finances or social relationships." Its suggested that to minimise the potential risks or effects of the disorder, parents encourage sport and physical activity which can increase blood levels of serotonin, have a positive effect on mood and alleviate the symptoms of problem-gaming. 

Viewpoint : In Praise Of "Victor Ludorum" ...

In the late nineteenth century, a question asked by many associated with amateur athletics was, “who is Victor Ludorum”? As noted in the “From The Archives” segment below, the concept of awarding a trophy to the “victrix ludorum” (Latin for "the winner of the games") first become popular in recognising all-round athletic achievement in the 1870’s.

("Victor Ludorum" trophies were once a common feature of the sporting landscape)

The award was based on encouraging athletes to participate in a wide-range of disciplines, with points awarded for achievement in each. The idea was that broad participation across many sports (e.g. running, jumping, hurdling, throwing) was better than targeted participation on only one or two. The Cup therefore celebrated genuine all-rounders, rather than specialists.

(In the 1930's, "Victor Ludorum" trophies went out of vogue in many secondary schools)

By the late 1930’s, this idea was abandoned by many New Zealand secondary schools as a view developed that promoting specialisation in specific athletic disciplines would encourage broader participation and reduce over-competition. 80 years later, the idea of early specialisation is now under scrutiny as sport administrators weigh-up the arguments of diversification as a preferable model to boost and support greater involvement within and across sporting codes. Recognising the achievements of "all-rounders" is just as (if not more?) important as acknowledging the talents of those who choose to specialise in sport. Today, the values of “Victor Ludorum” may suggest a healthy balance between performance and participation.

Community Sport Club Gets Creative To Keep People Playing ...

A Perth lawn bowls club that faced closure due to an ageing membership and rising costs has become a thriving community social hub, thanks in part to the conversion of some of its greens to roller-skating rinks. During the 1950s and up until the early 1970s the Club had more than 300 members with eight divisions of men bowlers and five divisions of women bowlers. Today, following the inclusion of the Street Roller Hockey League (which comprises 100 teams and which plays on a converted "green"), the Club has over 500 members.

Now known as the "Bayswater Bowling & Recreation Club", the key to staying open was not to encourage more people to take up lawn bowls, but to open up the Club to different sports and introduce social memberships that allowed people to join, even if they weren't playing sport.

You can read more about the Club's evolution, here.

From The Archives ...



“The first meeting of this Club took place on Saturday, met with success, and, probably, gave more satisfaction than any athletic gathering yet held in Auckland. It brought out many promising athletes, whose lights had been, so to speak, hitherto hid under a bushel, and though nothing very startling was done in the way of "times" or "distances," yet was it quite apparent to those who have seen these sort of things before that with practice, patience and perseverance, the three necessary "p’s," the youth of Auckland can hold their own in these as in other sports they have hitherto essayed against any provincial district in this colony. The prize given by Mrs. Gratten to the " Victor Ludorum" was won by Duder with five points, he winning the half mile, and running second for the 100 yards. His victory was deserved."

(R H Duder, pictured with the Thames Hotel, where New Zealand's first trophy originated)

The concept of Victor Ludorum trophy was first initiated in New Zealand in 1877, in the Club Room of the Thames Hotel in Lower Queen Street Auckland, where Susan Grattan (the widow of Richard Grattan and proprietar of the Hotel), presented a trophy to the Auckland Amateur Athletic Club. There were 175 entries for the 10 events on the Club's initial programme in 1877, when the new "Victor Ludorum" trophy was won by Robert Humphrey Duder.

The Final Word ...

"I've figured out that life in general is a team effort; it's a team game."

(Joe Namath, New York Jets)

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

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P O Box 582, Wellington, 6140

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