News & Updates

15 June 2020 • General

Looking forward: Update from Athletics New Zealand

We are all experiencing significant and ongoing challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic. From grassroots to high performance, everyone in the athletics community has felt the effects of this pandemic. Our track & field season came to a premature end in March, leading to the cancellation of important club, centre and school events. The start of our winter running season was disrupted and delayed. Our Olympians and Paralympians have been training on their front lawns and in their garages.

The Athletics New Zealand team has been working diligently and collaboratively with our centres, clubs and other stakeholders to respond to these challenges and provide options for our members.

The decision was made in April to allow members to delay payment of their registration fees until winter competitions can begin – we are confident this was the right decision. The delayed membership income, combined with the significant reduction in the availability of grants and trust funding and sponsorship funding, means that Athletics New Zealand – and all athletics clubs and centres across the country – are facing a very challenging year financially.

The reality is we will all have to make some compromises as a result. Our Board and management team are currently evaluating several scenarios that reflect the reality of the impact this reduction in revenue will have on the support we are able to provide to our centres, clubs and members in the foreseeable future.

The challenges we are facing will require innovative thinking. In a changed world we cannot realistically go back to the way we have always done things. One successful initiative has been the Athletics NZ Virtual Race Series. While the genesis of this event was the Covid-19 crisis, it has proven to be so popular that we are looking to retain the concept for future years as a tool to engage with the wider recreational running community and to broaden our membership base.

This month our centres and clubs will start the winter running season in earnest and we are looking to extend the racing season into early November. While we acknowledge times have been tough for everyone, we hope all our members will support local athletics activities and our national events. With robust planning in place, we can safely deliver a great experience to our members across New Zealand, and together keep our sport strong, vibrant and connected.

On behalf of Athletics New Zealand, congratulations on your contribution to New Zealand’s success in combatting Covid-19. We look forward to seeing you at our events in the coming months!

Kia kaha. We are all in this together!

 

Cameron Taylor and Pete Pfitzinger

Athletics NZ Chairman and Chief Executive

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