Amateur values in NZ school sports
NZ ASA SUPPORTS AMATEUR VALUES IN SCHOOL SPORTS
The newly formed New Zealand Amateur Sport Association acknowledges the concerns of school principals with the professionalisation of sports in the education system and recommends steps are taken to preserve and promote amateur values.
It was reported today that in relation to the sport of Rugby Union one secondary school believes “over-professionalisation of sport is not helping, it’s not helping the game, it’s not helping the boys, it’s undermining the values we’re supposed to be about.”
The Association believes an unintended consequence of professionalisation is potentially lower levels of participation if students perceive that encroachment of professional values reduce their incentives to participate, or opportunities for recognition and achievement.
The Association has the involvement and backing of major New Zealand sporting personalities. Andy Leslie (Life Member of New Zealand Rugby, MNZM) is President, and Marian George (Life Member of Netball New Zealand, QSM) is 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”.