Issue 67 : 1 November 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.

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.

2020 NSCS Workshops Confirmed ...

Two workshops to discuss insights arising from the National Sport Club Survey (NSCS) have been confirmed for the Taranaki and Waikato sporting communities, later this month.

The Taranaki workshop (hosted by Sport Taranaki) will take place at 7.30am, on Wednesday, 18 November, at "Sport Taranaki", Yarrow Stadium, Maratahu Street, Westown, New Plymouth. The Waikato workshop (hosted by Sport Waikato) will take place at 5.30pm, on Wednesday, 25 November, at Brian Perry Sports House, 51 Akoranga Road, Avalon, Hamilton.

To register for either of these workshops, please click here.

NSCS Insights Available On Twitter ...

A new Twitter handle, #nscs_nz has been created to share ongoing research insights arising from the 2020 National Sport Club Survey. For those without access to Twitter functionality (or if you prefer to not use social-media), the key insights (as released) can also be found on the Association’s web-site, here.

If your club, code or region is interested in obtaining more detailed insights relevant for your specific sport community, please contact the Project Team, by clicking here.

Profile : “Running For The Community” – The ACAC ...

News earlier this week that the Feilding Athletic Club, founded in 1875, was forced to cancel its mid-week meeting for children due to lack of volunteers, illustrates a challenge facing all sports.

The Auckland City Athletics Club (ACAC), which participated in the 2020 NSCS, is also facing challenges. ACAC Treasurer Andrew Pirie, notes that the club is to keep membership costs low enough to encourage more members, especially youth. He also says that support from community trusts and other sponsors is also needed, to make ends meet.

The ACAC's membership from is primarily drawn from central Auckland, with the club based at Mt. Smart Stadium in the summer and Cornwall Park in the winter. There are about 150 members of all ages, who compete in track and field over the summer, and cross-country and road-running in the winter season.

An ACAC club “icon” is Barry Magee, bronze medallist in the marathon at the 1960 Rome Olympics and a training partner with the likes of Peter Snell and Murray Halberg. As a national exemplar for volunteers in all sports, now 86, Barry still coaches young athletes and still fronts-up every week at club events.

(Barry Magee, MNZM, Olympic bronze medallist, is a valued volunteer coach for the ACAC)

The ACAC was pleased to be able to compete this year in the New Zealand Road Relay championships held, near Feilding. Five teams across various age groups participated from the club, with Women’s Under 20 A team coming an impressive second in their age group. Overall, the year has been a huge challenge for the ACAC, arising from the temporary freeze on grant-funding and the Auckland lock-down.

Viewpoint : It’s Time For A National Funding Review ...

The ancient Roman practice of augury sought divine-will regarding any proposed strategy which might affect Rome's peace, good-fortune, and well-being. Often, ominous events combined with other observations of nature were considered to reveal the will of the Roman gods.

(There are obvious signs that a national review of sports funding is now necessary)

While our methods of strategising have advanced somewhat since Roman times, observing the correlation of events and their associated data is still a sound basis for strategic decision-making. An "augur" appointed to divine the way forward for sport-funding in a COVID-19 world, would no doubt be able to identify a large number of correlated factors which would suggest a national review is both “auspicious” and timely.

As noted elsewhere in this e-zine, traditional gaming funding for sport is under increasing threat, “dividends” from professional sport franchises to community sport are much reduced (and are in doubt for the future), club members (and volunteers) are fewer and harder to attract, while National Sport Organisations are being forced to reconsider their financial priorities.

(PwC notes the sports sector was less prepared than other sectors to cope with COVID-19)

Recent reports of the appointment of Independent Commissioner to examine sport funding in Auckland is therefore a timely and sensible development. But surely, this review should be expanded to encompass all aspects of sports funding nationally, particularly that indirectly provided by the taxpayer, or borrowed by the government on taxpayers' behalf?

You can read more here.

Sports Industry : The Collapse Of The "Professional Pyramid"? ...

“The pyramidal system of sports is under existential threat” according to a new survey by PwC, which reported that a majority of respondents (51%) believe "concerted action at all levels is necessary”, given that “COVID-19 has revealed systemic weaknesses within the sports sector, which makes a scenario of imminent recovery highly unlikely.”

(Is COVID-19 eroding conventional wisdom concerning the traditional model of sport?)

While suggesting that “participation [amateur] sports have entered a long, challenging period as people shy away from mass gatherings”, around half of survey respondents did not believe that the sports industry will fully recover from the pandemic until 2023, or later. Only half of those surveyed felt that “governing bodies will implement significant governance and regulatory changes to improve sustainability”, with a focus on “short-term financial relief, without implementing any structural changes”, considered to be an equally likely outcome.

(The PwC “Sports Industry” report suggests stadium seats may remain empty for some time)

You can download the full report, by clicking here.

"Pokie" Funding In The Spotlight As Council Reviews Policy ...

"Class 4" gaming funds are an important source of revenue for many sporting organisations nationally. As many readers will know, Class 4 gambling refers to non-casino gaming machines, more commonly known as “pokies”. In New Zealand, a significant proportion of the money gamblers lose is legally required to be distributed to community groups, through grants. Sports organisations account for around one-half of the total value of grants made annually.

(Around $300 million is returned to the community from the proceeds of “pokies” annually)

Wellington City Council is proposing to adopt a "sinking-lid policy" for Class 4 gambling, which allows no new venues or gaming machines in Wellington, in an effort to limit the social harm created through their use. In inviting submissions on the policy, the Council proposes that sports organisations “look at more ethical and sustainable funding arrangements.”

(Both social-good and social-harm arise from Class 4 gambling in the community)

Of the sports that have provided submissions on the proposed policy, Wellington Hockey has requested that the new policy not be implemented, noting that while “the impact of problem gambling can be significant in the community, we also believe that the social benefits of sport and the people that we can impact cannot be underestimated. We see, on a daily basis, the importance of sport to people’s health and well-being and want to be able to keep providing this to our community without any more financial pressure than we already experience.”

As suggested in the "Viewpoint" article above, the current debate between the social-good and social-harm arising from Class 4 gambling in the community provides further support for a comprehensive review of national sport funding, from top to bottom.

From The Archives ...




"In boxing circles the name of Earl (“Mick”) Stewart was a household word. As a referee and administrator he was probably the greatest figure in New Zealand boxing of all time.

A prominent amateur boxer himself in his university days, he came into prominence as a referee in New Zealand on his return from the war. His fearless, decisive actions, cool demeanour, and sound, honest decisions soon won for him the reputation of being the country's foremost boxing referee. He had a particularly wide knowledge of matters pertaining to boxers and boxing, and this knowledge, combined with his clear foresight, made him a most valued member of several administrative bodies.

"Mick" Stewart's friendship was something to be valued, and his countless friends up and down the country will be all the poorer for his loss. He was indeed a man's man.”

(Mick Stewart, pictured, renowned as “the greatest figure in New Zealand boxing, of all time”)

Earl Stewart was born on 20 February 1891 in Dunedin, the youngest son of Thomas and Annie Stewart. Thomas was a baker at 667 King Street North. His three sons attended Otago Boys High School. While two sons followed their father into the pastry trade, Earl went to university in Wellington and in 1911 graduated with the New Zealand accountancy examination.

While at university, he joined the Victoria College (University) Boxing Club as a light-weight boxer. Having joined the accountancy firm of Clarke & Menzies, Earl won the national university light-weight championship in 1911 and the Wellington and Otago light-weight boxing titles in 1912 under the coaching of well-known trainer Tim Tracy, a former national light-weight champion. Stewart went on to represent Wellington at the New Zealand championships in 1913 and 1914, finishing as runner-up in 1913.

At the time of his enlistment to serve the King in 1916, Earl was living at 287 The Terrace in Wellington, from where he applied to join the Army Pay Department, shipping out with the 16th reinforcements of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, at around which time it seems, he earned the sobriquet “Mick”. While overseas, Stewart became a member of London’s National Sporting Club, also becoming captain of the NZEF Boxing team which competed at London’s Albert Hall in December 1918. He was appointed to the NZEF Sports Control Board, travelling with the NZEF rugby team on their tour of England and France.

(Allen Whitlow, left and Earl Stewart right, attempted to grow boxing’s national popularity)

Discharged with the rank Captain in 1920 on his return to New Zealand, he became the New Zealand Manager for Vickers Limited, while also becoming a popular boxing referee and a national selector. As an administrator of the Wellington Boxing Association, in the early 1930’s he was sent to America to secure boxers to fight in professionally New Zealand.

"Mick" was an amateur in the best and truest sense of the term. A bachelor, on his return from America he developed a number of illnesses, including pernicious anaemia. He died intestate on the 19th of September 1937 and is buried in the Soldiers Cemetery, Karori, Wellington.

The Final Word ...

“The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”

(John Bingham, aka “The Penguin”, US marathoner)

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

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