Issue 98 : 13 February 2022

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., founded in Wellington, New Zealand in 2017.

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.

2021 National Sport Club Survey – Virtual Seminar – 15 February ...

Acknowledging current COVID-related constraints on gatherings and events under the red-traffic-light setting, a virtual on-line (ZOOM) workshop on the results of the 2021 National Sport Club Survey is being held on Tuesday, 15 February at 7.00pm.

The workshop will discuss regional insights as well as providing data on the themes “women and girls”, “governance” and “membership” of community sport clubs. To register for the workshop, please click here, following which a link to the ZOOM meeting will be sent to you.

Alternatively, please contact the Association here,  for further information.

"Business Before The House" – Incorporated Societies Bill ...

With the sitting of Parliament now resumed in 2022, the Incorporated Societies Bill will continue through the parliamentary process, with the new legislation now before the Committee of the Whole House. Currently the Bill sits at item number 14 on Parliament’s Order Paper in a list of 27 Government orders for the consideration of the House.

There are currently six other pieces of legislation at the committee stage ahead of the Incorporated Societies Bill, including the “Protection Of Whistleblowers Bill”, (referring to “protected disclosures” rather than “match officials!) In summary, the Incorporated Societies will not be further considered by Parliament this month. The Association will continue to provide tis members with regular updates on the passage of this legislation.

Viewpoint: Is “Big Sport” Failing Our Youth? ...

With over 368,000 working age people receiving a benefit, for many Kiwi families the cost of enrolling their kids in sport delivered by volunteers through a local sport club has become too prohibitive. Is “big sport” failing our Kiwi youth? You can read more here.

Meanwhile, applications are now open for the Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa Fund for community-based programmes and projects engaging children and young people most at risk of missing out, or being less active. The fund is managed and distributed in the greater Auckland region by Aktive, with support from partners CLM Community Sport, Harbour Sport, Sport Auckland and Sport Waitākere, and includes a distinct assessment process for kaupapa Māori organisations.

2022 Association Annual General Meeting Date Confirmed ...

The Board has confirmed (at its January meeting) that the sixth Annual General Meeting of the New Zealand Amateur Sport Association Inc. will be held on Tuesday, 26 April 2022, at 5.30pm, in the Scott Room of the Wellesley Boutique Hotel in Wellington.

Kent Football Appeals On Behalf Of Match Officials ...

With a dramatic fall in the number of active match officials in amateur U.K. football post COVID-lockdown, the Kent Football Association has made an appeal to all involved with the game to support those appointed to adjudicate fixtures. The following extract from Kent Football’s open-letter has resonance in New Zealand also.

“Please consider how you engage with referees. We are not asking for preferential treatment, but simply treat us respectfully and as a human-being. Please think about any comments you make during or after the game, and that if you are lucky enough to have a referee for your game, for your son or daughter’s game, then they have given up their time. We are not perfect, and will not get everything correct, nor please everyone all the time; this is not possible, but they will work hard and have absolutely no interest in who wins or loses.”

You can read the full open-letter, here.

Colgate Games Provide Incentive & Opportunity For Young Athletes ...

Over a thousand young athletes competed at Wellington’s Newtown Park earlier this month in New Zealand’s largest junior athletics competition, the Colgate Games. Children aged between 7 and 14 from 75 clubs around the North Island, (over 350 from the Wellington region), competed. The three-day event required a vaccination pass for both attendees and participants aged 12 years and three months and older. Under the traffic light system, children under the age of 12 years and 3 months were not required to show proof of vaccination status.

This annual athletics competition for children first began in 1978, with Colgate’s sponsorship of the competition said to be the longest of its type in New Zealand sport. Until three years ago, the New Zealand Children's Athletics Association (NZCAA), formed in 1995, was responsible for the hosting of the North Island and South Island Colgate Games and the grade 12 and 13 New Zealand inter-provincial competitions. Following its dissolution by the Registrar of Incorporated Societies in 2016, in 2018 all activities of the NZCAA were merged into Athletics New Zealand, who have administered the Colgate Games since 2019.

“Sporting Assets” Helps Communities Build Sustainable Assets ...

Sporting Assets is a mission-led social enterprise, working to support, sustain and grow healthy, resilient communities through sport and physical activity. Through projects and investments, local communities in the U.K. are empowered to take responsibility for their sport assets, to create new enterprises and businesses, and to innovate and tailor their services for local needs.

An employee-owned business, the majority of surpluses are routed back to the communities Sporting Assets works with. Since 2013 Sporting Assets has helped over 50 community and voluntary organisations and worked across the sports sector. You can read more here.

Meanwhile, the U.K. government is offering capital funding to help establish a community-owned sports club or help buy a sports ground at risk of being lost without community intervention through a new "Community Ownership Fund". You can read more about this initiative, here.

From The Archives ...



“Although Individual opinions differ about the merits of referees even more than about players. It Is probably true to say that a majority of rugby followers have regarded Mr E. A. Empson; as Canterbury’s best referee over the last six or seven years, at least. Mr Empson refereed his last game on Saturday, the final representative fixture of the rugby season between Canterbury and Ashburton, and all football enthusiasts will regret his retirement.”

(“Ernie” Empson, circled, with the 1918 Canterbury representative Rugby Union team)

Ernest Alfred Empson was born in 1891, the son of Robert Edgar Empson (a Linwood boot-maker) and Edith Mary (nee Marshall). A plumber by trade, “Ernie” (as he was known), was a rugby union referee for 18 years, before which (from 1911) he played the game as a senior front-row forward for the Linwood Club in Christchurch. It was reported that his small build was against him gaining national honours as a player, but nevertheless he was in the Canterbury junior representatives for three seasons, and in 1918 he gained his full Canterbury cap. Three years later, he became a referee and in his first season with the whistle, he earned the honour of refereeing his first representative match, Canterbury versus Wanganui in 1921.

(Ernie Empson had a distinguished career as a representative rugby referee)

In his career, Ernie refereed eight Ranfurly Shield games, six Seddon Shield games and three Payne Trophy matches. He refereed the Springboks against Hawkes Bay, New Zealand vs Australian universities and the North Island vs the South Island. Famously, in 1932 Empson referred the Ranfurly Shield challenge between Canterbury and West Coast in which Canterbury only just held on for a narrow 5 points to 3 victory. The game ended in controversy when with West Coast hot on attack Ernie misread his watch and blew for full-time five minutes early.

Ernie married Margaret Christopher in 1915 and they had three sons, Victor, Raymond, Desmond, all of whom became well-known sportsmen in their own right, with Vic and Ray also becoming representative rugby referees like their father. The family lived at 39 Phillips Street, Linwood. Ernie Empson died on 15 October 1958 after a long illness, aged 66. He and his wife are buried in Christchurch’s Ruru Lawn Cemetery.

The Final Word ...

"Rule in the spirit of the game, rather than to the letter of the rule-book.”

(Ernest Alfred Empson, 1891-1958)


© 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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