Issue 78 : 4 April 2021

 Talofa Lava, Kia Orana, Malo E Leilei, Tena Koutou, Hello ...

... and welcome to this "Easter Sunday" issue of “For The Love Of The Game”, the official e-zine of the New Zealand Amateur Sport Association Inc. We hope you are enjoying time with family and friends over the long weekend, which celebrates a key event in the calendars of many.

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.

In Praise Of “Easter Tournaments” ...

Those of the opinion that sport has something of a religious devotion in New Zealand, need look no further than the tradition of annual “Easter Tournaments” which were avidly adopted by religious and secular communities alike from the late nineteenth-century.

(Finalists in the Wellington Lawn Tennis Association’s Easter Tournament in 1940)

Draughts was the first “sport” to offer an inter-provincial Easter Tournament in the 1880’s, with Lawn Bowls following suit later in the same decade and Tennis joining the trend at the turn of century. In 1902 the first Rugby Union Easter Tournament was held at Lancaster Park in Christchurch, featuring the top three club teams from the Canterbury and Otago Rugby Unions, with Golf also commencing tournaments in the period before World War One. As was observed by one religious columnist, “it is a fine thing, this bringing together of the clubs of the Dominion in the bonds of Catholic fellowship.”

(In 1956, Wellington Bowling Club was one of a large number hosting an Easter Tournament)

Over a century later, it’s of passing interest that Golf, Football, Basketball, Softball and Tennis are maintaining the Easter tradition in various centres around the country. However only two Lawn Bowls clubs nationally (according to the Bowls New Zealand calendar) now offer an Easter competition; a far cry from earlier times! A more general revival of annual “Easter Tournaments” could perhaps provide a welcome and necessary antidote to the pandemic-induced social-isolation experienced by many community sports people in recent times.

Annual General Meeting, 27 April 2021 ...

The fifth Annual General Meeting of the Association will be held on Tuesday 27 April, 2021 at 5.30pm, at the Wellesley Boutique Hotel, Maginnity Street in Wellington.

The Association was formed in 2017, to work collaboratively with all sporting codes in promoting, fostering, advancing and encouraging the core values of organised amateur sport, with the goal of ensuring there are opportunities, incentives and recognition for all participants, (whether players, coaches, or administrators), which are aligned to their distinctive status as amateurs.

You can download a copy of the Agenda for the Annual General Meeting, by clicking here.

New Zealand Rugby Acts To Increase Teenage Player Safety ...

A new series of experimental-domestic-safety-law-variations (EDSLVs) are being introduced by New Zealand Rugby to increase player safety in light of increasing concerns over the risks of concussion and injury. Targeted at teenage players, the goal is a create a safer and more appealing game at the community level, which this Association fully endorses.

In summary, the EDSLVs will require: all tackles to be made below the sternum (below the chest); contesting for the ball post-tackle must be done in a split-stance (reducing the risk of players falling over the tackled player and becoming susceptible to injury in doing so); and any player contesting for an airborne ball must keep their feet on the ground, (to eliminate the risks of injury arising from competing for the ball in the air).

In the 2021 season, trials of the new EDSLVs will be targeted in the teenage space, with the potential for other adult grades to be included in the future. A safer amateur game which does not mirror the risks associated with the professional game, is a necessary step in ensuring that Rugby Union as a sport continues to be seen as an appealing sport option for teenagers.

Viewpoint : “Sport For Sport’s Sake?” ...

In 1975, British rock-group 10CC wrote a top-10 hit, the lyrics of which commented on the values of the music industry. “Art for Art’s Sake” observed that “money talks, so listen to it”, with song-writer Graham Gouldman gaining the inspiration for the song from his artist father.

(Graham Gouldman wrote the lyrics for "Art For Art's Sake" in 1975)

Echoing the thought that “money talks”, a recent editorial in “Managing Sport and Leisure” notes that “community sport organisations are being required to respond to ever changing priorities of policy-makers and political agendas.” The editorial goes on to note that, “the emphasis of “sport for sport's sake” in terms of public funding and government support has dwindled, with increasingly stringent requirements being placed on those who oversee and deliver sport within communities to demonstrate their contributions towards meeting a range of social policy objectives, in order to secure funding.”

Should funding for sport come with political strings-attached?

Government funding for sport has always had policy goals. When originally founded in the 1930’s, New Zealand’s first "Council of Sport" was focused on improving the physical health and well-being of New Zealanders through funding of community infrastructure, in an era where the prospect for global military conflict was omnipresent. Today, issues of income-inequality and other forms of social-inequity are high on the policy agenda, to ensure all Kiwis have the opportunity to participate in the benefits of being part of a local sport community.

Noting that amateur sport is typically delivered by volunteers through community clubs with which they have some affiliation, based on a “love of the game”, funding should also acknowledge the role that these organisations play from a politically agnostic perspective. Without them, no amount of government funding will build the social capital desired. With this thought in mind, there is perhaps a need to financially recognise “sport for sport’s sake”, (without policy strings-attached). Appropriate funding should be made available to ensure the basic social infrastructure of each community sport club (including facilities, equipment, land and buildings) remains in as "good health", as each club intends its diverse membership to be.

£1 = £4.08 ...

In 2019, Manchester Metropolitan University analysed the economic and social impact of Rugby League in Britain. The research (reported in “The Rugby League Dividend”) calculated that every £1 spent by Rugby League community clubs in sport generated a social return of £4.08.

According to the research, the “social capital” of the sport of Rugby League is demonstrated by the positive elements highlighted by volunteers, (as well as members of the communities who do not identify as fans of Rugby League), in terms of social cohesiveness, identity, aspiration and role-models. In particular, the report highlighted the key role that clubs and charitable foundations play in providing vital social hubs and outreach activities which extend far beyond the provision of regular sporting opportunities for children, young people, women and men; and the considerable value of those services and activities.

The authors of the report write that the future of the sport “depends on the level of human, infrastructural and financial resources it can generate and get”, a sentiment true of any sporting code seeking to secure its future. You can download the full report here.

Club Makes Stand On “Home Ground” For Senior Matches ...

High School Park in Timaru, colloquially known as “School Park” is the home of the Timaru Old Boys Rugby Football Club, formed in 1919. In the 1920’s the South Canterbury RFU generally played senior matches at Fraser Park (now known as the Alpine Energy Centre), where a multi-million dollar redevelopment is now planned.

(In 1930, Timaru High School Old Boys won both the Skinner and Beri Cups)

In 2021, the Club wants all its senior A and B matches to be permanently played at its home ground, in a break with a long-standing tradition, saying it is trying to make the Club "more sustainable", given its clubrooms are located at the ground. The Club, which now represents Netball, Football, Squash and Cricket in addition to Rugby Union, was temporarily dissolved by the Registrar of Incorporated Societies last year. You can read more, here.

From The Archives ...




“Basketball has made great strides in recent years throughout the Dominion. It has been adopted by a large number of primary and secondary schools as a game eminently suitable for the physical development of the students. While it has all the merits of those games which require combination, activity, energy, and skill, it is not of too strenuous a character, and can be enjoyed with benefit by all girls, and by boys as well, although up to the present the girls have been mainly responsible for bringing the game to its present stage of popularity.

Basketball associations have been formed in all the principal centres, and the time has now arrived for the organisation of a central body to control the game throughout the Dominion. For this purpose two meetings of delegates from Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington have been held, and a constitution has been proposed for adoption at a general meeting to take place in the first term holidays of next year. The objects of the association will be to promote the game in every possible way, as well as to organise and control competitions between the various affiliated associations. The officers elected at the preliminary meetings are: Patroness, Mrs. Massey; President, Mrs Mclnnes (Wellington): Vice-President, Mrs H D Muir (Christchurch); Hon. Secretary and Treasurer, Miss D. Crumpton (Wellington).”

(Mrs “R S” – Alice – McInnes, first President of the New Zealand Basketball Association)

The "famous American netball game” was introduced to New Zealand in 1902, when the Dix Gaiety Company in Auckland arranged for “a dozen specially trained young ladies” to take part in a vaudeville exhibition match under the direction of Charles Brown-Parker. Dix’s netball team, known as the "American Netball Company" played the touring British football (rugby) team in an exhibition match in 1904, in Dunedin, with the British team winning by 7 goals to 5. An adaptation of “women’s basketball”, both “netball” and “basketball” were used interchangeably to name the sport in the years before the Great War, with “netball” most commonly referred to in schools and “basketball” with older players associated with the YWCA movement.

After the war, the sport gathered momentum for young women, with Wellington having 11 teams in 1921, developing into the Wellington Ladies’ Basketball Competition, of which Mrs R S (Alice) McInnes (a member of the YWCA Club) was President. By 1924, 250 young women played every Saturday, with 16 clubs and 30 teams playing in the 1925 Wellington competition.

(Scenes from the 1941 New Zealand Basketball Association Tournament In Rotorua)

Originally from Invercargill, Alice Mary Irene Black was born in 1893. Graduating from Otago University with an Arts and Science degree before the Great War, she married Ralph Saxby McInnes a Returned Serviceman from Belleknowes in Dunedin, in 1919. Alice and Ralph had three daughters, Edith, Blanche and Alison.

The New Zealand Basketball Association was formed in 1924. It was the only national sporting body at the time run entirely by women, with Alice McInnes being elected the inaugural President. By 1927, there were 2,680 registered basketball players in the country. Wellington had 81 club teams, Auckland 59, Canterbury 41, Otago 37, Southland 24, Hawkes Bay 16 and Ashburton 10. It was the hope of the parent body that basketball would be “regarded as the national game for girls, as rugby is looked upon as New Zealand's national game for men”.

(The roof of the YWCA in Wellington served as a basketball court in the 1940s)

In 1932 Alice McInnes was made a Life Member of the national body and as former President she donated the “President's Cup” for the winners of the second-grade in the annual New Zealand Tournament. Alice was one of three women members appointed to the first "National Council of Physical Welfare and Recreation" in 1938. She was involved in the YWCA, the Guiding movement, as well as being a netball referee and Vice-President of the Referees Association. Alice and Ralph McInnes lived at 40 Hamilton Road, Hataitai, overlooking the netball courts. Alice died on 30 August 1969, aged 76 years, followed by Ralph two months later.

The Final Word ...

“Many think that the mark of a great champion is the nature and margin of their victories and the peaks they scale and reach. The mark of the greatest of champions is how they react and respond to defeat." - (Rasheed Ogunlaru)

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

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P O Box 582, Wellington, 6140

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