Issue 65 : 4 October 2020

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.

With voting for the 2020 General Election to close in 13 days’ time, the dearth of policy on sport and recreation from all politicial parties is concerning and alarming given the importance of sport in the lives of New Zealanders. Only the Green Party appears to have articulated a specific policy for sport and recreation (click here), with no policy detail apparent on the party websites of Act, Labour, National, or New Zealand First. 

With the previous Government having promised a whopping $265 million investment in the sport sector over the next four years, it is slightly odd that no political party had sought to debate or articulate a clear view of what that investment might mean for the future of community sport.

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. An archive of earlier editions of the e-zine can be found here.

If you are interested in applying for membership of the Association, please click here.

National Sport Club Survey Initial Results Next Friday ...

The initial insights from the 2020 National Sport Club Survey will be publicly released next Friday, (9 October). The 2020 survey received responses from nearly 1,200 community sport clubs representing 80 different community sports throughout New Zealand.

The winner of the Dynasty Sport Survey Prize Draw will also be made and announced on Friday next week. And, a reminder that the itinerary of 2020 survey workshops is still being finalised, with further details to be provided on the Association’s web-site, here.

Another 22 Community Sports Clubs Dissolved By The Registrar ...

Among the 22 community sports clubs dissolved by the Registrar of Incorporated Societies this past week is the Wellington United Association Football Club. Readers may recall that in the previous edition of “For the Love of the Game” Bob Davenport, the founder of the club’s predecessor (the Diamond Football Club) was profiled.

(A wide-range of community sports clubs have been dissolved in the past week)

The full list of clubs dissolved by the Registrar are: Aoraki Football Academy; AUFA Master Football Club; Bush Cricket Club; Capital Sports Performance Club; Featherston Junior Football Club; Glenorchy Golf Club; Hawke’s Bay Invitational U15 Girls Hockey; Matamata Association Football Club; Metro Judo Club; Old Boys Sports Club Timaru; Petone Hockey Club; Phoenix Sports Club; Porirua Gymsports; Pro Box NZ; Ratana Sports Club; Royal Arcadian Yacht Club; Sulphur City Athletics Club; Tokoroa Youth Boxing Club; Ultimate Martial Art Fighting; Volleyball Gisborne; Volleyball West Coast; and Wellington United Associated Football Club.

(A new “circuit-breaker” to avoid involuntary dissolution is now needed to protect  clubs)

The Association recommends that National Sporting Organisations take a greater interest in the regulatory status of their member community clubs, to ensure that the risk of involuntary dissolution owing to non-compliance with financial reporting requirements is substantially reduced. Additionally, the Registrar should contact Regional Sport Trusts with the details of clubs at risk of involuntary dissolution in their regions, for their intervention, as appropriate.

Gender Diversity & Organisational Performance In Community Clubs ...

On 25 September, National Sport Club Survey Project Team Member Dr. Mel Johnston, with the support of Association Board Member Dr. Michael Naylor and Associate Professor Geoff Dickson of La Trobe University in Melbourne, presented to the 28th European Sport Management Conference, on the impact of gender diversity in the governance of community sport clubs in New Zealand, on their organisational performance.

Using data from the National Sport Club Surveys in 2019 and 2020, "financial performance" and "membership growth" were two variables analysed relative to the percentage of women involved in governance roles. The analysis showed that while gender-diverse leadership was linked to financial performance, it was not positively correlated to membership growth.

Digging deeper on financial performance, the most notable insight that was consistent across both the 2019 and 2020 surveys, was that when there is gender-diverse leadership, a club is more likely to be financially "breaking-even".

The European Association for Sport Management (EASM) was established in 1993 as an independent association of people involved or interested in the management of sport in the broadest sense. EASM membership is composed of academics and professionals from the public, voluntary and commercial sectors. Members of EASM come from nearly 40 different countries, and from every continent.

South Canterbury Indoor Bowls Merger On The Cards ...

Duplicated administration and the impost of affiliation fees are two principal reasons behind the proposed merger of the Timaru and South Canterbury Indoor Bowling Associations. The vote on a new Constitution is expected to take place this month.

The Timaru Association was first incorporated in 1964 and is currently based at the Stadium and Community Centre in Wamataitai. Brian Henry (now 88 years old) is President. He was introduced to the sport in Pareora in 1954 at the local hall. He then moved to town and joined first St. Peter’s then the Kia Toa Bowling Club.

In the 1970s Henry got heavily involved in the administration of the sport, as well as managing and coaching New Zealand teams in the 1980s. He became South Canterbury's only president of the New Zealand Indoor Bowls Association before he headed to Australia in 1991. As to the future of Indoor Bowls in the South Canterbury region, Brian is on record as stating “it's not a dying sport; it is only dying because we let it."

(Brian Henry has been a key supporter of Indoor Bowls for nearly 70 years)

You can read more about the proposed merger, here.

"A Grotesque Corruption Of Kids' Sport" ...

Last week, New Zealand Herald journalist Dylan Cleaver wrote a pointed-article on the need for the reform of New Zealand’s high-performance sport structure and the manner by which funding is allocated between professional sport and community sport.

In his article, Cleaver notes “the unhealthy effect of NSOs targeting elite young athletes and putting them on pathways to podiums and other counter-productive academy-based programmes”, which he suggests has directly led to “a grotesque corruption of kids' sport.”

“It has normalised the professionalisation (and subsequently the commoditisation) of youth sport and the disastrous effects of that are in full bloom now with plummeting participation numbers and widespread disillusionment, particularly in secondary school sport as we lurch further and further into an elitist mire.”

He suggests that “we're in an endless spin cycle of high pressure, breakage, review and reset. All while the grassroots wither”, also observing "the only way the current system is sustainable is if the only measure of a country's sporting health is Olympic medals. By any other metric, it is time to change direction. This strangest of years has provided the perfect cover to do that.”

Hallam Research Reveals Benefit To Investing In Community Sport ...

Every £1 spent on community sport and physical activity generates nearly £4 for England’s economy and society, new research from Sheffield Hallam University reveals. More specifically, when measured against costs of engagement and providing opportunities, every £1 spent generates a return-on-investment (ROI) of £3.91 for individuals and society.

The findings, released last week, show how physical activity plays an important role in preventing a number of serious physical and mental health conditions, with the research showing this provided £9.5 billion in value to the economy. A further £20 billion in value came from stronger and safer communities, including:

- 10,000 fewer crime incidents;

- the replacement value of work done by sports volunteers, (estimated at £5.7 billion); and

- improved levels of social trust, belonging and community engagement (£14.2 billion).

(Globally, sports clubs rely on volunteers to operate, creating massive social value)

You can read the full report, by clicking here.

Clubs – A Valuable National Resource ...

A recent study describes community sports clubs’ responses to the restrictions arising from COVID-19 in England and Scotland. In England in 2018, it was reported that there were approximately 72,000 community sports clubs with an average of 100 adult participants, 77 junior participants, 44 non-playing members, and 24 volunteers. In the main, the clubs are managed and delivered almost entirely by volunteers.

With a population of 56 million, the ratio of English community sports clubs to people of 1:777 is lower than in New Zealand (where the equivalent ratio is 1:666), underlining New Zealander’s greater emphasis and reliance on the role of community clubs in creating social well-being.

The study observed that “the network of clubs can be regarded as a valuable national resource. It emerged from the late 19th century onwards [and] has proved very resilient and is part of a strong voluntary sector tradition. It is particularly suited to developing the sporting social capital which promotes sports participation.” A sentiment that this Association fully endorses.

You can read the full study, by clicking here.

From The Archives ...




"Yet another championship has found its way to Petone, and the holder of it, Miss Nancy Curtis, was officially and cordially welcomed and congratulated by the local citizens last evening.

Miss Curtis, who was the winner of the ladies' champion singles and who also, with Dr. Alison, won the combined doubles championship at the recent tournament in Auckland, arrived home at Petone last evening, and was met by the Mayor and Mayoress (Mr. and Mrs. J. W. McEwan), who were accompanied by leading citizens, and a large crowd of people, who heartily cheered the champion. Mr McEwan mentioned the reputation Petone had for producing champions and said that among them the performance of Miss Curtis was unique, as she had competed against the best players in New Zealand.”

Ella Nancy Curtis (known as Nancy) was born in 1894, the daughter of Stephen Charles and Mary Isabel Curtis. The family lived at 52 Victoria Street in Petone, near Wellington. Stephen Curtis was one of the first three men to start the Petone railway workshops and was the first foreman, at a time when the Petone township only comprised three farmhouses and a store.

(Nancy Curtis was renowned both for her success and her positive sporting temperament)

A student of Petone High School, Nancy with her older brother Leo and older sister Vera (known as "Gipsy"), became active members of the Petone Tennis Club (formed in 1893, in Britannia Street, where there were four courts). Nancy was the most successful of her siblings on-court, winning the Wellington Girls Singles Champion in 1908 and 1909 and the Girls Double and Combined Doubles in 1909.

In the 1920’s Nancy established herself as “the first player in New Zealand and Australia”. In this era, in singles play, she did not lose a set either in national or interprovincial matches. She won the New Zealand singles championship in 1920 and 1921 and the mixed doubles championship in the same years. After winning the New Zealand championship in 1921, Nancy, with three other prominent New Zealand players, was sent across to New South Wales as a member of the New Zealand team.

(The Curtis family home at 52 Victoria Street at Petone, near Wellington, in 2020)

Nancy Curtis is remembered as “a player who smiles at her own mistakes and losses. There is never a frown if she errs, and she is always smiling when she loses. But smiling she mostly wins, and then her pleasant manner makes it easy for her opponent.”

She married Walter Frederick Sturman in 1924 and raised two sons, John and David. Nancy died in 1958, at Raumati South, at the age of 63. She is buried in the Taita Cemetery, Naenae.

The Final Word ...

“When public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the state is not far from its fall.”

(Jean-Jacques Rousseau)

© 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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