By Terry O’Neill
Bowls North Otago successfully completed its women’s pentangular tournament last weekend involving Senior women and Development women from the five Centres south of Christchurch: South Canterbury, North Otago, Central Otago, South Otago and Southland.
Teams played singles, pairs, triples and fours on two greens in Oamaru in over 100 games superbly organised by Brian Papps and umpires, Bruce Kelly and Graham Thorn, and with cooperation from the other four centres. The senior womens section operated smoothly.
And the “But” . . . Unfortunately Southland and South Canterbury, neglected to provide essential details of their development womens teams, and listed names only with not an iota of information about team composition and skips. As the tournament began on the Saturday morning, umpires had the additional stress of seeking this information. Hopefully a robust message educated those centres on their basic responsibilities.
This scenario may be indicative of a sports administration trend in which even more is expected to be done by the responsible, declining few. It’s an unfettered malaise that has evolved over the four decades I have been associated with bowls and other sports .
Blame may rest at the feet of professionalism whereby the national bodies tend more to be concerned with promotion of those exclusives at the top of the food chain. In too many cases the roles of governance and management are clouded. Let’s hark back to the days of the late Arthur Familton who, as North Otago secretary, ran bowls with a very firm hand although some might agree his “firm” might have been be a tad lenient. Governance is the aspect of the committee which decides policy, and management involves those appointed to apply that policy to their sport. The two have become integrated to the detriment of sport. Only time hopefully, and a change in attitudes will ensure a more favourable response to the tasks demanded of administrators.
Can you imagine dealing with a multitude of bowls results on scorecards attributed to Tom, Sandy, Jude, Margie, and the like? These do not identify the players to anyone outside the intimacy of the green so it would be appreciated if full names of skips and players are always recorded.
Meanwhile it’s time to celebrate local sport. The North Otago Sports Bodies annual Sportsperson of the Year function is early March at the Opera House. Once again over fifty individuals have been nominated by their respective sports over a wide range of codes ranging from equestrian horse cutting through to trap shooting, motorcross and downhill mountain biking. Coaches are acknowleged too with Narcis Gherca (swimming), Owen Gould (Rowing), Ray Boswell (trap shooting and hockey),and Hamish McMurdo (cricket/rugby refereeing).
The traditional award for Administrator of the Year may be now be covered by the Services to Sport award. Sports administration is often a thankless task.
Let’s salute these behind-the-scenes sports people who make things happen. Without their fastidious care, knowledge, humour and leadership, sports could not function.