New organisation promotes and supports New Zealand amateur sport

A new organisation has been established by well-known sporting names and community leaders to promote and support amateur sport in New Zealand.

The amateur ethos is the true essence of all sport: playing for the fun, enjoyment, and social aspects in a spirit of healthy competition and strengthening communities. The overwhelming majority of New Zealanders’ participation in sport is centred around amateur clubs and based on amateur values.

A decision was made to form The New Zealand Amateur Sport Association at a meeting on Wednesday 26 April 2017. It will work to grow and strengthen amateur sport in our communities, ensuring that opportunities, incentives and recognition remain central to participating in amateur sport, whether as a player, administrator or volunteer.

The Association invites membership from all who share the same goals of the Association, and encourages participation in all aspects of amateur sport by all Kiwis, from all ages and backgrounds.

The Association has the involvement and backing of major New Zealand sporting personalities. Andy Leslie (Life Member of New Zealand Rugby, MNZM) has been elected as President, and Marian George (Life Member of Netball New Zealand, QSM) as Vice President.

From the 26-strong group of Founding Members who include double Olympic gold medalist rower Hamish Bond MNZM and Principal of Wellington College, Roger Moses ONZM, an inaugural Board has been appointed which includes Sally Morrison, Chair of Wellington Cricket, and Wayne Guppy, Mayor of Upper Hutt City.

President Andy Leslie says: “All professional players were once amateurs, it’s vitally important to have vibrant, well-supported amateur clubs in our communities so that people can play for enjoyment and the fun of competing. And, of course, many sports wouldn’t exist without the dedicated involvement of volunteers and whanau”.

Mr Leslie adds “Membership, support and volunteering levels at amateur clubs are under pressure, we believe it’s vital to turn things around. Everyone knows that being involved in sport, whether playing or helping, has countless benefits, and it’s at the amateur level where all people can really get involved. At the same time, we believe that a strong relationship between professional and amateur sport works to mutual advantage”.

Vice President Marian George says: “Involvement is what this is all about. We can bring our knowledge and experience to the table, but this is about the future, so involvement from young New Zealanders, communities and New Zealand’s clubs is essential. We want people to get in touch with us with their ideas. There are incredibly exciting times ahead for amateur sport in New Zealand”.

The New Zealand Amateur Sport Association foundation members are:

Andy Leslie, Life Member, New Zealand Rugby Union, MNZM
Marian George, Life Member, Netball New Zealand, QSM
Hamish Bond, Olympic and World Champion Rower, MNZM
Sally Morrison, Chairman of Cricket Wellington
Jono Phillips, Director of Rugby, Waimea Old Boys RFC; Eagle Impact Rugby Academy
Adrian Tangaroa Wagner, Manager, Te Reo Irirangi o Te Upoko o Te Ika Trust Incorporated
John Morrison, Trustee, NZ Cricket Foundation; Life Member, Cricket Wellington, MNZM
Steven White, Director, College Sport New Zealand Limited
Jo Coughlan, Director, Silvereye Communications
Campbell Dewes, Principal, TKKM o Kawakawa mai Tawhiti, Hicks Bay
Roger Moses, Headmaster, Wellington College, ONZM
Tony Meachen, CEO, New Zealand Marist Rugby Football Federation
Wendy Shrivjers, Executive Director
Rod Plimmer, Senior Project Manager, Intergen; Wellington Athletics Association Coach
Wayne Guppy, Mayor of Upper Hutt City
Gordon Noble-Campbell, Chairman, Hurricanes Youth Rugby Council Inc; Director, Private Client Services, Forsyth Barr
David King, Recreation Adviser, Clubs & Schools, Activation, Upper Hutt City
Farib Sos, Executive Director of the Asia Forum, MNZM
Warren Inkster, Communications Consultant
Galu Letiu, Director, Southcoast Construction, Red Cross Volunteer
Andrew McLean, Director, Expert Procurement Solutions;
Jim Meates, Lawyer, New Zealand Rugby Citing Commissioner (Ret.)
Dion Ross, Managing Director, Pinnacle Corporation
Evan Bayly, Director, E-Xpert Developments Limited
Steve Cooper, Company Director, Unlimited Limited
Nigel Richardson, Company Director, Unlimited Limited