By Peter Holmes on 30/09/09 at 5:18 pm
Triathlon New Zealand hosted its Annual General Meeting in Christchurch today, with one of the highlights being the awarding of a Life Membership to Gisborneâ€™s Terry Sheldrake while the sport was able to look back on another year of strong growth in the sport and strong results on the international stage.
CEO Dave Beeche addressed the meeting, referring to the â€˜three Pâ€™sâ€™ that form the basis of the Strategic Plan for the sport. The national body has made strong gains in each of the key areas of Pathways, Profile and Performance.
â€œIt has been another year of growth and success for Triathlon NZ (Tri NZ) due to the extraordinary focus and commitment of our large volunteer base, dedicated board and hard working management team. Thousands throughout the country have played a part in another great year, be they participants, officials or family and friends behind the scenes. Recent surveys have confirmed our sport as the fastest growing in the country*, which in itself presents challenges as we try to cater for that fast growing base of participants and those interested in the sport. However, the recent revision of our strategic plan and associated brand strategy has seen us not only cater for that existing growth but to oversee a further increase in New Zealanders participating and taking an interest in our sport at any level, be they competitors, officials, volunteers or simply supporters.â€
The nomination of Terry Sheldrake for a Life Membership received unanimous support. Gisborneâ€™s Sheldrake received the honour in recognition of an involvement in the sport at all levels dating back over 30 years. Patron of Tri NZ Peter Fitzsimmons spoke of Terryâ€™s dedication to the sport:
â€œNew Zealand appears to be unique in the sporting world in producing individuals who through a lifetime of involvement have done most things in a sport. Maybe that is the reality of a small country with limited resources where generalists rather than specialists must prevail â€“ driven by a need to be hands on to create and build a viable strong sports environment. Such has been the life to date of Terry and his commitment to the sport at so many levels and in so many areas of the sport. From an event promoter, administrator, technical advisor and a leader, Terry has done it all and continues to contribute today with the same enthusiasm and intensity, including now sitting on the International Triathlon Union (ITU) Executive Board. Terry is ably supported by his wife Kathy and sons Stephen, Brent and Aaron who have all performed with distinction in the sport. Terry is one of those individuals who epitomizes the success of a hands on approach to building a great sports environment.â€
The AGM was followed by a meeting of the new Board and a forum attended by local and visiting club representatives and coaches with the main topic of discussion being media and communication. In particular clubs discussed issues of coverage in a busy sporting environment and the use of social networking as a means of communicating with their members.
*Nielsens Research Survey, April 2009