I would like to start this short message with a note of thanks to all those members, clubs and individuals who have given so much to our sports over this last year. We cannot say thank you enough, without you, we would not have our sports.
The year has been huge in so many ways. Not least of which were the Olympics. While I am sure that Tony will say more, I couldn’t let this opportunity go by without saying, how proud we all were in the achievements of our athletes.
For the first time in decades, we had three fine young athletes represent our sports at the Olympics in Rio. They did so well, and this has been reflected in the ongoing HPSNZ support Dylan and Courtney will receive.
Whilst not quite as exciting as seeing our athletes perform on the national, international and Olympic stage, but just as important, are the outcomes achieved by the organisation. These have been achieved through the hard work of the dedicated office team under the leadership of Tony, assisted by Danielle and Andy. You have all been magnificent, thank you.
We have had some significant hills to climb this year as we sought to position our sports to achieve all that they can, while never losing sight of the fact that we exist to support and help you, our members, grow. This can be seen in the development of a new Strategic Plan, the development of our new budgeting structure, that sees the organisation work its way through the significant funding cuts, and yet still focus on growth and development outcomes for you and our sports.
I would like to personally thank the Board; Eugen, Jane, Virginia, Cheryl, Andy and Carolyn for all their work over this last year. While unseen by most, the effort and dedication they have shown has been significant.
Personally, I was thrilled that this year saw the first meeting of Oceania Gymnastics, a significant step on the journey to becoming a fully-fledged Union within the FIG. This development is important in many ways, not least of which are the opportunities for our administrators and officials to participate in, and gain international experience and exposure to the international family of the FIG.
In a reflective moment, I recall attending a WAG event, not long after joining the board, and asking why we didn’t have cheerleading among our codes. After an explanation, accompanied by a look dismay from those replying, undeterred, I stated in unequivocal terms that I believed that cheerleading would become an Olympic sport. As it transpires, cheerleading has indeed been slated to become an Olympic sport in 2024. I reflected on this, because, although it was thought to be inconceivable four years ago, it has come to pass.
We live and work in times of significant, fast-paced change. The world of the future will be an ever more demanding struggle against the limitations of our intelligence, and our willingness to grasp opportunities, not a comfortable hammock in which we can lie. My challenge to us all; seize the opportunities as they arise and overcome the challenges posed, by working together with synergy, trust and confidence, safe in the knowledge, that together we are bound to succeed.
Lastly, on behalf of the Board and myself, I would like to wish you, our gymnastics’ family, and all those associated with you, a very merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.
God, Bless you all.