Issue 81 : 16 May 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.

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.

Submission To Be Lodged This Week ...

Following consultation with the Board and membership of the Association, the National Sport Club Survey (NSCS) database of community sport organisations (CSOs), the Hon. David Clark Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (and his predecessor, the Hon. Kris Faafoi), Succeed Legal Limited, and Crowe New Zealand, the Association intends to lodge its submission to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee on the Incorporated Societies Bill 2021, this week.

In its submission, the Association provides an overview of the likely impact of the legislative reform on CSOs and makes seven substantive recommendations to the Committee. The Association is concerned that the passage of the Bill may have unintended consequences for the viability of CSOs, a regulatory phenomenon sometimes described as “the Peltzman effect”.

(Sam Peltzman suggests well-intentioned regulation sometimes has unintended consequences)

The Association has also met with the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Grant Robertson (in July last year) and in December 2020 the Association met with (and discussed the proposed reform), with representatives of New Zealand’s crown-entity for sport, Sport New Zealand.

Association Board Positions Appointed ...

At its first Board meeting of the 2021/2020 financial year, the Association's Board appointed Gordon Noble-Campbell as Chairman, with Dr. Farib Sos MNZM, Deputy Chairman. The Treasury function for the financial year was allocated to Will Caccia-Birch and Tony Meachen, while David King was appointed the Association’s Privacy Officer. Aleks Noble-Campbell continues in his role as Board Secretary.

There’s No Place For Violent Behaviour In Community Sport ...

Side-line violence and abuse continues on New Zealand's sporting fields and it appears there is nothing in place to stop it. A violent confrontation after a premier club rugby game in Wellington is the latest incident emphasising the bad behaviour of some supporters. The Association’s Chairman joined Radio New Zealand’s “Extra Time” to discuss the need for clubs and teams to take responsibility for the actions of those playing and watching. You can listen here.

Joe Ehrmann, President of the “InSideOut Initiative” (a United States based organisation which aims to transform the culture of youth sports), observes that “we must reframe sports and redefine coaching so that sports teams can teach positive values and help boys become emotionally secure and developed men, [to] reduce the level of violence in the sporting community.” You can read more about the InSideOut Initiative, by clicking here.

Perhaps we need a similar initiative in New Zealand?

Di Robertson Receives Cedric Cudby Volunteer Award ...

As last week’s annual Basketball New Zealand Awards, Di Robertson received the “Cedric Cudby Volunteer Award”. A former member of Basketball Hawke’s Bay board, during her 14 years of service she played key roles in the areas of player and coach development, strategic planning, rules and regulations, and, most importantly, the women’s game.

(Di Robertson, winner of New Zealand Basketball's Cedric Cudby Volunteer Award)

As a player, she played over 40 games for the Tall Ferns during her six-year career, captaining the team in 1984. She was part of the bronze medal winning team at the Commonwealth Games in 1983. She enjoyed phenomenal success on the domestic stage, winning seven titles with Hawke’s Bay during a career that spanned over 300 games. Robertson also coached the Hawke’s Bay Women’s team for three years. Fittingly, in 2010, she became the first basketballer, male or female, to be inducted into the Hawkes Bay Sports Hall of Fame.

The Association congratulates Di Robertson (and all award winners) on their achievement and recognition by basketball’s national body. (Cedric Cudby was a member of the New Zealand Men’s Basketball Association and the New Zealand Basketball Federation from 1963 to 1980).

Viewpoint : “It Feels, Above All, Like A Moment To Wake Up” ...

Earlier this month, the Guardian newspaper wrote, in response to proposals for foreign private equity to purchase a stake in New Zealand’s most inconic sporting brand the “All Blacks”, that “it is, at its heart, a question of who gets to own sport. Who gets to own our traditions, our memories, our institutions, our passions. It feels, above all, like a moment to wake up.”

The tabling of a counter-proposal by the New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association which would involve New Zealanders being given the opportunity to purchase shares and become part-owners of our national game, is therefore a positive proposition requiring the serious consideration of New Zealand’s Provincial Unions who own rugby union in this country.

The risks of private equity ownership were highlighted by the Guardian, using Formula One motor-racing as an example where, “between 2006 and 2017 … the sport gradually became less likable, less accessible and yet wildly more profitable.” Some suggest that among the factors causing reduced participation in the game of rugby union at the community level are increased financial barriers (such as viewership paywalls), which when combined with repetitive competitions, reduce the level of community engagement and connection.

The monetisation of a sport's core values for private profit carries a risk of tempering the allure of widespread community participation. A sport that cannot survive, or articulate its purpose, without such monetisation occurring, may be at risk of losing its community relevance. Noting that recreational players or volunteers in the game will not be incentivised to participate by money, perhaps this is why placing a slice of rugby union's financial future in the hands of its core community stakeholders, could make economic and emotional sense?

(Who gets to own our traditions, our memories, our institutions, our passions?)

"Pecvniate Obedivnt Omnia" ...

One year ago, the Minister for Sport and Recreation announced a four-year funding package for sport, totalling $265 million. The package comprised $83 million on short-term support for CSOs, $104 million was targeted to be spent on national and regional sport organisations to “help them make changes” and a further $78 million was provided to develop "innovative approaches to delivering play, active recreation and sport into the future".

So, what has been achieved in the first 12 months?

In July last year, a new $68 million fund (Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa) was established to support community sport ($16 million per year, for four years), with the initial emphasis for grant applications on girls and young women, disabled people and those in higher deprivation communities. Sport New Zealand’s 14 Regional Sports Trusts manage and distribute the fund, with funding allocated to them based on both population and deprivation modelling.

While the Association has not been able to source a national breakdown of funding provided by region and sport, a range of regional community organisations have reported they have received funding for specific purposes. Acknowledging that the funding is "from New Zealanders for New Zealanders", the Association anticipates that Sport New Zealand will provide a comprehensive update on grants made over the past year, in due course.

($16 million has been made available by Government for community sport grants this year)

From The Archives ...


“Mr. Richard T. Wheeler, jun., of Dunedin, is the most valuable asset possessed by the New Zealand Bowling Association. His devotion to sport is only equalled by his faculty for organisation. If ever “King Dick” [Prime Minister, Richard Seddon] goes to war, he can win half the battle in one act if he gives Richard T., jun., plenary powers as head of his commissariat. You simply cannot worry him out of his placid temper. And to behold him at a tournament controlling the play or several hundred bowlers spread over nine or ten greens many miles apart is to realise what it is to command an army corps when the battle is in full swing.

At the recent tournament in Dunedin the genial secretary had the assistance of a strong executive, and selected his staff with the judgment of a Napoleon. Mr Wheeler is what you may safely call an all-round sport. He has been a representative footballer and cricketer in days gone by, a crack performer at swimming, golf, fives, and bowls, and is still regarded as the amateur champion billiard player in Dunedin. At snooker he is too hot to hold. He can measure rods with even Tommy Wilford at angling, and Tom Lock will back his fish stories against anything the Mataura valley can turn out.”

Richard Thomas Wheeler was born in 1861 in Bendigo, Australia and emigrated as an infant to New Zealand. Educated at Otago Boys’ High School, he qualified as an accountant working for the City Surveyor and then for Connell and Moodie. In 1885 he went into business on his own account as an accountant and commission agent and took over the management of the Mercantile and Bankruptcy Gazette, which was founded by his father. As an accountant Mr Wheeler came to be recognised as one of the ablest in Dunedin. When gold dredging was at its height in Otago, he was at one time secretary of 26 different mining companies. When the mining boom died out about 1902, he resumed his profession as an accountant, and joined the firm of Chas. Begg and Co. in that capacity.

Bowling occupied much of Richard Wheeler’s spare time, and he entered enthusiastically into the organisation of the game. He was the first secretary of the council of the New Zealand Bowling Association and a Life Member of the Caledonian Club. He was manager of the first bowling team from the Dominion to tour Australia, the team being known as the “All Whites”, (long-before the name was subsequently acquired by football). For a period he was honorary secretary and treasurer of the Otago Golf Club. He also represented Otago in Rugby Union (as fullback) in the 1870’s. Wheeler married Mary Reid Mason in 1885, with whom he raised one daughter, with the family living at 37 Moray Place in Dunedin. He died on 2 December 1925 and is buried in Anderson’s Bay cemetery.

The Final Word ...

“Sports don't build character unless a coach possesses and intentionally teaches it.”

(Joe Ehrmann, President, InsideOutInitiative)

© 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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