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View from the Chair – Sep 2022
By Christo Peters - Mon 3 Oct 2022 6:15pm
Pete

As Chair of a minority sport in NZ, I was interested in hearing the news about  NZ Rugby forfeiting $280k of Sport NZ funding, for failing to meet a gender diversity target of 40% women on their Board. Whilst the story about gender and inclusion is an important one, what struck me about this news was their apparent nonchalance in losing this income. To put this in context, $280K is more than double the entire Orienteering NZ operating budget (of approx $120k pa), so for our sport this would literally be game changing (excuse the pun), and allow us to invest in things we have no ability to do currently.

Unfortunately NZR’s loss isn’t our (or any other sports) gain, and we are left with the $30k funding that Sport NZ provides us as a contribution to running our sport. Whilst we are super grateful for this (and any) funding, it is hard to hide from the fact that we are a minority sport that struggles to get the profile which other sports enjoy and which they benefit from. It was with a lot of pride that we were recently able to share with High Performance Sport NZ, Tim Robertson’s phenomenal achievement on the world stage. Sadly this hasn’t translated into financial support for Tim (or others in a similar position), so we are left with the enduring problem of how we can build better financial health in the sport.

As a community sport which is predominantly driven by volunteers, the idea of financial health may seem foreign or even irrelevant for some people. Personally I love that we are driven by a love for the sport and community principles. However our ability to grow and invest in areas of the sport that needs it is significantly impacted by our financial capacity. We believe this is an important issue for the sport, understanding how financial health plays out at both club and national level, and we are keen to engage with members and clubs to capture views and insights. So this forms the topic to be discussed at the upcoming Presidents Forum on Oct 12th, and then further investigated at the Club Forum on Nov 24th. I hope many of you can make this, and look forward to talking with you at those meetings.

In the meantime, it has been fantastic seeing NZ athletes competing once again in Australia, and especially our Juniors in the Southern Cross Challenge. Congrats to all the place getters and well done to all the athletes for competing, and re-connecting again with our Australian friends. Joolz Moore has been doing some great work updating us on Facebook, and I look forward to more updates in the days ahead.

Happy running

Peter Swanson   |   ONZ Chairperson
027 302 4863
onz-chair@orienteering.org.nz

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