Tuesday, 23 May 2017

NZMS President's Report AGM 2017

By any measure, 2016 was a successful year for NZMS.

Membership increased significantly in 2016. In a time when many other sports bodies are experiencing a decline in membership, this is an achievement to be celebrated.

Attendance at our sanctioned meets also continues to increase.

The Ashburton club once again very generously offered to host the SISCC. This was very well organised, attendance was good and the standard of swimming high. We really need another South Island Club to step up and offer to host this event this year – it’s not ideal that the same club should carry the burden every year.

This year, responding to previous suggestions, and as an opportunity to host the Nationals ahead of WMG2017 at the same venue, we switched the normal dates of the NISSC and Nationals.  

This put enormous pressure on Taupo to organise the NISCC with limited notice.  They proved more than equal to the task and are to be commended for hosting a meet that really set the benchmark for all future events. Taupo proved to be a popular central location and drew a larger number of entries than in recent years. The officials were outstanding and the sessions ran like clockwork. The function was also a lot of fun.

North Shore held a National Long Course Championship that was exceptional.  The opportunity to compete at the Sir Owen Glenn pool ahead of the games proved to be a major draw card and attracted a large attendance. The venue was outstanding, with state of the art equipment and there were an unprecedented number of NZ records broken. Again, the standard of officiating was extremely high. The standard of officials in NZ is world class and we are lucky to have access to them. It was also good to have the assistance of SNZ and many of the competitors appreciated their presence poolside.
In the interests of continuous improvement, North Shore, NZMS and SNZ held a post-meet review that was very productive.

Whether we continue to hold the Nationals at this time of year is still to be decided.

Mt Roskill also held a sanctioned meet and attendance was their highest ever.

The organisation remains in a very strong financial position and we can look at using the surplus to fund an improved infrastructure and support the clubs involved in hosting meets and promoting swimming through coaching, social events, sanctioned and fun meets.

Our online reach has increased (both overall and within each channel). The Website, Facebook, MasterScrawl Blog, and email all continue to play their part in keeping our members informed and attracting new interest. This year will be focused on improving the online experience for our members and clubs, as well as streamlining the organisations processes in terms of registration, entering meets and collecting payment.

Much of the resurgence is attributable to the upcoming WMG2017 being held in Auckland. Although membership a Masters is not required to swim at this event, we have benefited indirectly. Swimmers are joining and returning to NZMS in order to train with like-minded people and to compete at sanctioned meets ahead of the games.  The challenge next year will be to retain these members, keep them engaged and to continue the momentum going forward.

At this point, no club has offered to host a Nationals Long Course in 2017.
We have a continued strong relationship with Swimming NZ and few of us attended the annual Swimming NZ awards to watch Jolie Fenwick receive our Masters Swimmer of the Year award. Jolie was an outstanding representative of NZMS. I continue to meet with SNZ on a regular basis and they are keen to work more closely with Masters in the future.

Once again I extend sincere and grateful thanks go to office bearers, Mike Bodger (National Secretary), Warren Gilbertson (Vice President), Andrew Gabites (Webmaster), Jan O’Donnell (National Recorder), Lesley Parkin (Swimming & Trophies Officer) and Liz Davidson (IT Officer). I’m fully aware of the amount of time you all invest in NZMS and I genuinely appreciate your support.

Special thanks this year is due to Jan O’Donnell. Jan has decided to resign from the role of National Recorder after long and exceptional service. Due to the number of records broken, Jan had a particularly busy year and will be difficult to replace.

We are also indebted to Roger Eagles who has continued with his representation of NZMS on the FINA Masters Committee and in Aquatics NZ, which he chairs.

NZMS is very lucky to have the continued support of these dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers. That the organisation is in such good heart is testament to their hard work and tenacity.  I don’t think people realise just how much time these people commit - we desperately require more volunteers need to share the load.

Once again, it’s been an honour to have represented you as president.

John Fisher

President 2016-2017

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