News & Updates

13 July 2022 • Community

Connections Conference aims to tap into community power

The New Zealand Campus of Innovation and Sport (NZCIS) will host the 2022 Connections Conference

The 2022 Athletics NZ Connections Conference staged at the New Zealand Campus of Innovation and Sport (NZCIS) in Upper Hutt on Saturday 3 September will provide a prime opportunity for the athletics community to “Connect, Learn and Enable.”

During a day of activity, which focuses on a range of critical topics within the sport, the overarching theme of the annual conference will aim “To activate the power of the communities to provide great athletics experiences” which aligns with Athletics NZ’s new strategic plan for the next four years.

Athletics NZ Club Development Lead Stu Savage said of the Connections Conference “Our emphasis is for us to work together with our athletics communities, so every Kiwi has the opportunity to grow and thrive through athletics. To achieve our purpose, we need to form strong and effective relationships with our partners and key stakeholders and focus on building capability in our athletics system and communities. The conference aims to achieve this by facilitating an exciting opportunity to all come together.”

The conference, which takes place from 10am-4pm, will begin with comments from Cameron Taylor (Chair) and Pete Pfitzinger (CEO) on the new Athletics NZ strategy followed by Athletics NZ Community Manager Hamish Meacheam leading comments on the Sport NZ supported Strengthen and Adapt plan.

The emphasis will then switch into focused workshops on youth, engagement and competitions with the guidance of Hamish, Athletics NZ Competitions Manager Jason Cameron and Athletics NZ Young People’s Lead Fiona Maisey. This will present a great opportunity for attendees to share their own ideas, thoughts, and club initiatives.

After lunch, a GameDay rep will talk through Athletics NZ’s new GameDay database platform followed by our Club Development Lead Stu Savage laying out the findings of the Athletics Voice of the Participant survey – which will focus on several key topics; the value proposition of athletics, fun and friendly environments and fulfilling the potential of our members.

Fiona will then focus on Safe Sport in Athletics before attendees will get the opportunity for some informal interaction with Athletics NZ staff and stakeholders via our aid stations to conclude the conference.

Last year because of Covid restrictions the conference was organised as a webinar series but now sport and communities are returning to normality and Stu believes the 2022 Connections Conference is not one to be missed.

“The conference provides an annual opportunity to ‘connect, learn and enable’ for people across our athletics communities in New Zealand,” explains Stu. “It facilitates the opportunity to share insights, ideas, and stories. It’s as much about clubs having the chance to connect with one another as it is for Athletics NZ and centres to provide information. 

“What we have gleaned from years gone by at other conferences has been that volunteers from club-land love to connect and discuss hot topics with likeminded people, so there will be plenty of opportunity to do that. Some of the learnings taken from the conference can be actioned into constructive outcomes in their own club environments.” 

“If you want to connect with people from athletics all over NZ, support the development your club and be a driver for positive change then the conference is a must.”

***All attendees will receive refreshments on arrival, lunch, afternoon tea with drinks and nibbles provided. There will also be the opportunity to see the start-of-the-art NZCIS development.

If you would like to attend (it is free to all affiliated clubs) register below:

2022 AGM and Connections Conference (

For any queries e-mail:

Stuart Savage (Athletics NZ, Club Development Lead)

The 2022 New Zealand Road Championships take place at the NZCIS the following day – Sunday 4 September. To enter go here