Issue 69 : 29 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.

Taranaki Benefits From National Sport Club Survey Insights ...

The first workshop for the 2020 National Sport Club Survey, hosted by Sport Taranaki, was held in New Plymouth on Wednesday, 18 November. 47 attendees representing 30 local sport organisations participated in discussion led by AUT's Dr. Michael Naylor and Dr. Mel Johnston.

Among other insights shared from the 57 club respondents to the survey from the Taranaki region, was the optimistic sense that around two-thirds of Taranaki clubs would be “shortly back to normal” following the impact of COVID-19. This was a stronger response than the national average, which reported that only half of total respondents shared that positive view.

“Made By Sport” Focuses On "Clubs In Crisis" ...

It's estimated that there are over 150,000 grassroots sport clubs in the UK, with over 40% either "in-deficit" or just "breaking-even" before the COVID-19 pandemic, operating on less than £10,000 per year, with 50% of clubs led by volunteers.

"Made By Sport" estimates that 1 in 4 community clubs may not be able to open their doors again, noting that the "inequality gap" will increase significantly if these clubs collapse given that they are crucial for their communities. There is a concern that should clubs close, issues such as anti-social behaviour, isolation and mental well-being will spike. You can click here to view a short video highlighting the value of sport clubs to UK communities.

"Made by Sport" is a UK charity launched in 2019, to champion grassroots sport in the UK, based on research which suggested that young people from poorer backgrounds are approximately 50% less likely to play regular sport. The charity’s current "#ClubsInCrisis" campaign focuses on sport as a way to alleviate issues affecting youth, such as mental well-being and crime, while also promoting life skills.

(The Duke of Sussex, Anthony Joshua, and Nicola Adams helped launch, "Made By Sport")

Viewpoint : On-Field Violence – Identify The Cause, Then Apply The Cure ...

Readers may be aware of a violent on-field incident during a recent game of Rugby Union in Wellington which resulted in an 18-year-old player receiving, “numerous fractures around his eye socket, severe swelling and a serious concussion”. You can read further details of the incident (as reported by the New Zealand Herald), here

(ACC notes Rugby Union causes more concussion or brain injury claims than any other sport)

The Association understands that the incident is still under the investigation of Rugby Union and civil authorities, a fortnight after the event. While accepting that contact sports do carry inherent risks of "unsanctioned aggression", fortunately incidents of this severe nature are relatively rare. While the determination of any penalties against those involved in this case has yet to be made, the defence for maiming an opponent in any sport can only exist within the rules of that game. When an outcome is reached in this case, New Zealand's sporting community should expect clear and unequivocal statements from relevant sporting administrators and governing bodies.

('Sanctioned" acts of aggression fall within the rules, "unsanctioned" acts do not)

Research undertaken on the causes of "unsanctioned aggression" in the sport of Rugby Union in particular, has identified several contributing factors, (while also hinting at possible cures). A 2009 joint-study by the George Washington University Medical Centre and the University of Hong Kong found that “demographic variables (e.g. age, playing position, or level of play) were not predictive of [unsanctioned aggression].” Rather, the study found that “measures of aggressiveness and professionalisation were significant predictors; high scores on both indicated a greater probability of reporting the use of unsanctioned aggressive force for the sole purpose of causing injury or pain.”

(Sports teaches life-lessons about acceptable "off-field" and "on-field" social behaviour)

Perhaps by emphasising "respect for competitors", "player mental welfare" (ahead of their physical conditioning), and “love of the game” above all else, New Zealand’s sports-fields can remain enduring places of safety and enjoyment, rather than arenas of potential peril and injury.

New Zealand’s Pony Clubs Aim To “Change The Rein” ...

Earlier this month, New Zealand’s Pony Club (NZPCA) movement took-up the reins of a national campaign to advocate for a caring, supportive and positive culture in equestrian sport. The “Change the Rein” campaign, launched by Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ), the country’s governing body for horse-sport, is currently being rolled out across the country. ESNZ was founded in 1950 by Duncan Holden, with the sole purpose of sending an equestrian team to the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.

The NZPCA encompasses 16 areas with 81 clubs and 238 branches throughout New Zealand. In terms of relative size, the NZPCA has around the same number of clubs as Surf Life-Saving and Table Tennis. The new campaign was developed following "behavioural issues" ESNZ wanted to resolve, with research identifying that people were apprehensive about joining a sport they perceived as "complex and a bit scary". You can read more here.

("Kindness, Support, Horse-Care, Gratitude and Integrity" are the new campaign's values)

Hamilton Hosts National Sport Club Survey Workshop ...

91 Waikato clubs participated in the 2020 National Sport Club Survey, with insights presented to a workshop at Sport Waikato in Hamilton on Wednesday last week. On many metrics, the Waikato region reflected national results, although fewer clubs reported a financial surplus compared to the national average. Over three-quarters of Waikato survey respondents said that their club was either "breaking-even" or "losing-money".

Waikato clubs reported a higher average membership (244) than the national sample (175), with nationally the average club membership having fallen by around 12% (to 175) from the first National Sport Club Survey in 2018 (when average club membership was reported to be 200+).

The Price Of "Winning At Any Cost" ...

"Financial wherewithal should never be an indicator of sporting achievement, certainly not in the simple game the very nature of which is more inclusive than any other, just a ball and boots."

An investigative report from the Sydney Morning Herald last week has suggested that the development programme in place for youth in New South Wales is, “not in the best interests of children or the game of soccer.” The report says that “multiple parents have described an unfair recruitment process for the skills acquisition programs (SAPs) and National Premier Leagues (NPL) teams, a cavalier attitude to children's wellbeing and an emphasis on money.”

(Do "sport academies" for youth help or hinder the sustainability of community sport?)

While providing youth with the opportunity for developing their sporting skill is laudable, what is less noble is the exclusivity and inequality which are often by-products of academy-type programmes only accessible to those with financial means. You can read the full article here.

(An average football club in Sydney charges $215 for junior registration, $430 for seniors)

From The Archives ...



“Besides being a match-winner in several sports for Poverty Bay in the past 20 years, Peter Kaua, of Gisborne has also been a friend-winner. Armed with a cheery personality and the good grace to take reverses as well as successes in the manner of a true sportsman, he is well-known and esteemed among team-mates and opponents alike. He first came into prominence in sports in Gisborne in 1929 after transferring from Wellington. From then until the present he has shown his class in most of the popular sports.”

Pita Tipunakore Kaua was born at Te Horo, Waiomatatini (near Ruatoria) on 15 July 1909, the son of Akuhata Kaua and Hineititia Wilkie. He was educated at Waiomatatini Primary School and Te Aute College. From 1929 to 1939, he represented Poverty Bay at Rugby Union, mainly as a five-eighth and was selected in the New Zealand Māori team of 1931 which played Australia in Palmerston North. Kaua also played matches for the representative Tairawhiti Maori sides over many seasons, which included players from Rotorua to Hawke’s Bay.

(From the East Coast, Pita Kaua served his country on both the battle-field and sports-field)

In 1936, he married Mate Potae Tautau Bartlett (aka "Peggy") and they eventually settled at 612 Aberdeen Road, Gisborne. Following service in World War 2 as Sergeant in the 28 (Maori) Battalion, C Company, Pita worked as a civil servant in the Lands and Survey Department in Wellington and in the Māori Affairs Department in Gisborne and Wellington. He was a Clerk of Court in Wellington and was a Senior Welfare Officer for the Māori Affairs Department in Gisborne, retiring in 1966. In 1970 he was one of three nominees for the Board of Māori Affairs appointed by the Governor-General.

(Kaua, left and far right, excelled in many sports, serving and representing his community)

Kaua was a former holder of the Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay senior "hop, step and jump" record. He was a former Poverty Bay-East Coast tennis singles champion and represented Poverty Bay in most of its important engagements in the 1930s. He had the distinction of winning practically every club singles title in the Gisborne area. Kaua never lost his grip on the Civil Service singles title in the time he competed from 1930 to 1936. He won the Turanganui Golf Club's championship for five years running in the 1930s. In 1972 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace and in 1979 was awarded the QSO for public services. He died 14 November 1989, aged 80 and is buried at Taruheru Cemetery in Gisborne.

The Final Word ...

“The more we regard our success as our own doing, the less responsibility we feel for those who fall behind.”

(Michael J. Sandel, Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?)

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

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P O Box 582, Wellington, 6140

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