Issue 77 : 21 March 2021

 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. For those who follow Twitter, you can also follow the Association, @AmateurSportNZ.

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

As you will read in this edition, there are many issues and challenges facing amateur sport in New Zealand at this time. We thank you for your interest in the Association and encourage you to become actively involved in promoting the Association's goals in your region.

Incorporated Societies Bill Reaches Parliament, (After 8 Years) ...

The Incorporated Societies Bill which is being introduced to Parliament comprises 6 parts, 261 clauses, 141 pages and over 41,000 words - (about half the length of an average novel). (It is unlikely that those involved in community sport on a voluntary basis will be voluntarily reading the Bill). The current Act (legislated in 1908), comprises only 36 clauses and a mere 11,000 words. The Bill has serious impacts for sport clubs nationally and those volunteers who step forward to deliver sport to their communities.

(6 parts, 261 clauses, 141 pages, 41,000 words - the new Bill will impact sport clubs)

New Zealand has around 23,000 incorporated societies. Research by this Association suggests around one-third of these are sport clubs. When reform was first mooted by the Law Commission in 2013, it received a scant 208 submissions, (a 0.9% representative sample). Only 12 of these submissions were from sport entities. Despite comprising around one-third of the entities affected by the proposed reforms, only 0.05% of incorporated sports clubs provided input to the consultation process. Rather than "a lack of interest", the Association suggests that this statistic represents "a lack of awareness".

(Is the nature of the proposed reform still valid eight years after first being mooted?)

The above statistics suggest that over the past eight years, as the Bill has been drafted, the voice of amateur sport may not have been heard. There is also the possibility that the underlying reform assumptions should be reviewed. The Association suggests that the legislation proposed and passed by Parliament as drafted may well have the effect of accelerating sport club dissolutions. Already an alarming statistic, the effect of the Bill's reforms may well act as a further disincentive for volunteers to step forward to serve their communities in sport. If so, this will not be in the best interests of New Zealand and its proud sporting heritage.

(The Association encourages all sport clubs to have their say on the new Bill)

The Association will be making a submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee which will consider the Bill, (should it pass its first reading). If you would like to contribute, please click here. If you would like to download a copy of the Bill, please click here.

Players Under-Report Concussion, According To New Study ...

Recent research published in the "BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine" journal has revealed that 17% of players in NRL rugby league teams in Australia chose not to report likely concussive episodes and concussion-related symptoms during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Alarmingly, across the total group surveyed (151 players), concussion incidence was high for the past two seasons with 56% of players reporting at least one diagnosed concussion in the past two years.

(Over half of players in the survey reported they had experienced a diagnosed concussion)

More than half of the participants (58%) in the survey reported they did not report their symptoms as they did not want to be ruled out of the game or training session. Nearly a quarter of participants (23%) reported that they did not want to let down the team's coaches or their team-mates. This was despite 85% of survey respondents reporting that they had attended a concussion-education session in the past 12 months.

(The BBC reports that female athletes are twice as likely as males to get concussed)

It is possible that if a similar study was undertaken across this country’s rugby codes, similar results would arise. This survey suggests that education is not the "turn-key solution" to the question of how to reduce the risks of physical harm in contact sport. It is more likely a case of requiring a review of the "laws of the game" and where appropriate implementing additional safe-guards, particularly for amateur players. You can read the full study, by clicking here.

Review Finds Funding & Delivery Overhaul Of Community Sport Is Needed ...

An independent review into the funding and delivery of community sport in the greater Auckland region, commissioned by the North Harbour Sports Council, reveals core issues and a need for urgent change. This Association suggests (per the following article) that the issues identified in this review may well be symptomatic of a national issue.

(An independent review of Auckland sport funding has raised serious issues)

The key findings of the Auckland review included:

- the system is too complex and requires significant change to be fit for purpose;
- roles and responsibilities of the model lack clarity and definition and include duplication;
- there is a lack of trust and transparency and poor relationships;
- strategy and funding is too prescriptive;
- KPIs and targets are not sufficiently SMART; and
- monitoring and reporting systems processes are inadequate.

You can read more here.

Viewpoint : Is It Time For A National Review Of Sport Funding? ...

In 1938, Bert Kyle, Member of Parliament for Riccarton observed that the £4,000 allocated from the Government’s budget to support the newly formed 16-member National Council of Physical Welfare and Recreation Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs, “seemed large”.

(Bert Kyle MP was the first to question Government spending on sport, in 1938)

With the successor entity to Bill Parry's "National Council of Sport" now receiving nearly $100 million a year in Crown (taxpayer) funding, in the wake of COVID-19 and its impact on community sport is it now time for a review of where and how this money is spent?

($100 million annually is allocated from the public purse to Sport New Zealand)

Under the assumption that those delivering sport in their local communities (mainly unpaid volunteers) have the greatest knowledge of their needs (financial and otherwise), it may well be timely to review the balance of financial support provided directly to community sport organisations, in addition to the "in-kind" support provided by the Government's agency for sport. With nearly $100 million of taxpayer funds (and an additional $65 million of New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds) being spent annually, many struggling to provide for (or participate in) sport may wonder if this annual investment is reaching where its needed most.

You can read more here.

"E Tu Whanau" Supports Local Sports Commentary ...

E Tū Whānau is a movement for positive change developed by Māori, for Māori. It’s about taking responsibility and action in local communities, supporting whānau to thrive.

E Tū Whānau recognises the importance of club sport in creating healthy communities for whanau throughout Aotearoa. This week, Association Board Member and Manager of Wellington’s Te Upoko o te Ika radio station, Adrian Wagner, was pleased to announce that E Tū Whānau has agreed to sponsor the station’s weekly “Footy Show”, (the last surviving Saturday live-terrestrial-broadcast of club rugby in New Zealand), for the next three years.

(Free-to-air terrestrial radio is an important medium to connect communities)

The “Footy Show” is a popular way for Wellingtonians to tune-in to listen to their favourite community rugby union teams battle for the "Swindale Shield" and "Jubilee Cup" over the winter sports season. With the support of Wellington Rugby, Te Upoko o te Ika and E Tū Whānau are maintaining a tradition of connecting sporting communities through the airwaves that stretches back 95 years, to 1927.

(Wellington's Te Upoko o Te Ika is the last live radio broadcaster of community rugby)

The first live radio broadcast of community rugby in Wellington took place at Athletic Park in 1927 between University and Old Boys (now one club, Old Boys University). Adrian says “radio has the power to connect people, regardless of their personal circumstances and situation, free-to-air, creating a sporting family connected by their love of the game”.

Association Calls On Government To Enable Affordable Access To Sport ...

The Association has called on the Government to enable affordable access to Community Sport Clubs. Cost should not be a barrier preventing Kiwi kids benefiting from the immense value New Zealand’s sporting volunteers create for their local communities.

(Is the Government's $265 million relief package for sport reaching those who need it most?)

You can read the Association's Media Release, by clicking here.

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace ...

In 2014, the sport for development sector secured the recognition of April 6 by the United Nations as the "International Day of Sport for Development and Peace" (IDSDP). Celebrated every year around the world, this day aims to promote sport as a vehicle for change.

Sport activities and events have been particularly affected by the necessary health measures and restrictions imposed in countries around the world as a result of COVID-19. Despite this challenge, IDSDP remains a great opportunity for the sport and development community to showcase the ways sport has been helping countries, communities, and individuals to navigate these challenging times and build-back-better. You can find out more, by clicking here.

“Sport Is A Path Of Life”, Do Not “Eat The Ball”, Says Pope Francis ...

In an impromptu address to the managers and players of Italy's Sampdoria Football Club last month, Pope Francis observed that it was important for the club not to lose the amateur spirit, that is, amateur sport. “Sport is born precisely from the vocation to do it. Other interests are secondary, but the important thing is that it remains amateur in spirit.”

(Pope Francis is a long-time supporter of the San Lorenzo de Almagro football team)

Pope Francis said “sport is a path of life, maturity and holiness, You can go ahead; but always as a team, always as a team, this is important,” he said. “I want to underline two things, and this is the first: as a team, you do everything as a team. The most beautiful victories are those you win as a team. At home, if a footballer plays only for himself, we say “he eats the ball”: he takes the ball for himself and does not look at the others. No. Always as a team.”

Unione Calcio Sampdoria, commonly referred to as "Sampdoria", is an Italian football club based in Genoa, Liguria, with its roots in the local sporting community going back to the 1890’s.

From The Archives ...



“The personnel of the National Council of Physical Welfare and Recreation, appointed under legislation passed by Parliament last year, was announced on Saturday by the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Hon. W. E. Parry. [Among the 16 members appointed was] Miss Agnes Kennedy, of Auckland, a member of the staff of the Teachers' Training College, an official of the Auckland Y.W.C.A. and organiser of women's games.”

Agnes Ann Kennedy was born in 1881 in Brunnerton on the West Coast, the third daughter and eighth child of the ten children of Martin (a knight of the Holy Roman Empire and Director of the Bank of New Zealand) and Mary Kennedy, of Gladstone Terrace, Kelburn in Wellington. Martin Kennedy who made his fortune in gold, black-gold (coal) and brewing (three corner-stones of the economy in that era!), was an early benefactor of education in New Zealand, which acted as an inspiration to Agnes in her career.

In 1899, after having attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Timaru, Agnes gained entry to the University of New Zealand. Returning to Wellington as a graduate, she was a member of the Aorangi (Wellington) Hockey Club and during the Great War worked for the Women’s National Reserve at the Base Records Office, located in Brandon Street. During the war, Agnes was Secretary of the Wellington Ladies Golf Club. In 1919 she attained a position as librarian and tutor at the Auckland Teachers’ Training College. In 1923, she was appointed as an Assistant Lecturer and she became Vice-President of the Auckland Basketball (Netball) Association.

(A group from the Teacher’s Training College in 1919, with Agnes Kennedy, circled)

Agnes spent two years in England in the early 1930’s, studying a City of London "vacation course in education". Following her return, in 1935 she was appointed as Women’s Warden of the Auckland Teachers Training College, at which time she was also Secretary of the Auckland Institute for Educational Research and Secretary of the New Education Fellowship in Auckland. She was also Chairwoman of the Health and Recreation Committee of the Auckland Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA).

(Agnes Kennedy was one of three women appointed to the first National Sport Council)

Agnes was one of three women members appointed to the first National Council of Physical Welfare and Recreation in 1938, at which time she was Vice-President of the Auckland YWCA and a member of the YWCA's National Board, as well as being a member of the Women’s Progress Club. At this time, she was also Vice-President of the Auckland Ladies Hockey Association and later (during World War 2), President of the of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, (New Zealand Branch). Residing in Lower Hutt at the time of her death, Agnes Kennedy died in October 1954 and is buried in Wellington’s Karori cemetery.

The Final Word ...

"The professional element in sport is not without its disturbing features, for one of its main objectives is to turn sporting contests into gladiatorial spectacles for the multitude, instead of allowing them to remain healthy outlets for the competitive spirit.”

(J A Inkster, 1938)

© 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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