2023 Life Membership Award – Gareth Brettell

Anna Robertsone-News

The last, but by no means least, award announced at the annual general meeting on Wednesday 14 June was a life membership award to Gareth Brettell. We congratulate Gareth on his second significant award, which he has received for his services outlined in the below citation.

In 2017 Gareth was also awarded a Gymnastics NZ meritorious award.

He has been an FIG international judge since 2005, that is for 18 years. Prior to achieving this qualification, he was a Gymnastics NZ senior judge and had been judging since he was a gymnast.
He was a prodigy of Mike Ranger, David Allan, and Stephen Kendall all of whom have been celebrated New Zealand international judges.

In 2012 he achieved his FIG category 1 status. He has officiated at national championships regularly, often
undertaking the role of control judge which involves many volunteer hours in the months preceding the event.

Since 2006 Gareth has represented New Zealand at more than 30 international competitions inclusive of Pacific Rim, World Universiade, world challenger cups, Oceania championships, world championships, and Commonwealth Games. The pinnacle of his judging career has been the Olympic Games at which he has judged in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2021 within which he represented New Zealand with distinction.

His gymnastics lifetime began 40 years ago as a men’s artistic (MAG) athlete. During this period of his life, he has been a member of TriStar Gymnastics. During his athlete career he followed a well-trodden MAG pathway of competing at domestic events, then a quick ‘superman’ change into judging gear.

In 2011 Gareth was appointed to the Gymnastics NZ Men’s Sport Development Committee (now Men’s Technical Committee). He served on this Committee as the chairperson for 11 years. He resigned due to a short term of employment with Gymnastics NZ and later, in 2022, was reappointed chairman. During his tenure on the Technical Committee Gareth has helped shape the MAG community with significant contribution to judge education, coach education in relation to routine construction, regional and national event support, instigating the MAG Apparatus Challenge competition format and the 360
Development Programme.

In his role as Chairman, he helped foster a collaborative and effective MAG community, actively developing pathways for the next generation.

In 2022 Gareth was appointed MAG Technical Director of Oceania Gymnastics Union. This is a governance role which sees him making significant contributions to the development of gymnastics in the entire Oceania Region.

Throughout this long list of achievements he has remained a valued and active member of TriStar Gymnastics and he can regularly be seen in the gym undertaking his “old man” workouts, interacting with the coaches and athletes, and he remains a volunteer judge.

Gymnastics is Gareth’s community and his contribution is as wide as it is deep.