A Sign of Reform – But Beware

August 13th, 2018

On the 11th August Andrew Alderson wrote an article in the NZ Herald that discussed the possibility of reform at High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ). A summarised version of his article is shown in the table below.

For those wanting to read the article in full, here is the NZ Herald link. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12105378

High Performance Sport New Zealand has proposed a restructure which could result in job losses and a revision of roles at the organisation.

The news is the latest chapter in a tumultuous series of recent events within the sporting sector. A series of reviews are ongoing, and key staff such as cycling coach Anthony Peden, football coach Andreas Heraf and rowing high performance manager Alan Cotter have been high profile exits from their respective NSOs.

HPSNZ is faced with reassessing the fundamental values of sport in this country and whether the desire for medals or tournament victories has trumped athlete well-being.

The revelation of a restructure comes after Grant Robertson, the minister for sport and recreation, rebutted the theme of journalist Dylan Cleaver’s “Midweek Fixture” column in Friday’s Herald.

Cleaver wrote that New Zealand sport is “fundamentally broken” because of an outdated HPSNZ funding model that “denies access to taxpayer dollars for those who do not achieve results in pinnacle events”.

Robertson took issue with that premise, but then concurred with several of Cleaver’s points.

That, combined with the proposed restructure which the ministry must be aware of, suggests work is required to fix – or at least re-adjust – the priorities of the country’s sporting landscape.

Scott has taken the initiative. Now sports fans await the results of his endeavours.

Whenever I hear news that Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) or Sport New Zealand are about to undergo reform my spirits soar in the hope that something better is about to occur. Swimwatch readers will be aware that the appointment of Gary Francis caused one such burst of optimism. Alas it was not to be.

The business of sport is full of reforms that are cons designed to consolidate bureaucratic power or to convince gullible shareholders that better days are ahead. Swimming has had both of these.

The 2011 Moller Report was an example of the first. Brian Palmer and Bronwen Radford fell for Miskimmin’s ruse and naively agreed to a course of action that ruined the sport for a generation. With barely a nod towards democracy Miskimmin and his subordinates consolidated their autocratic grip on power. Remember when Moller told the SNZ General Meeting that all his reforms had to be accepted or none at all. Remember when he demanded that Brian Palmer be sacked from his position as Auckland CEO. Mind you he was probably right about that. In my opinion the Palmer and Radford legacy in swimming will forever be tainted by their capitulation to the 2011 Miskimmin con.

The appointment of Gary Francis is an example of the second type of sport’s con. It was a classic Clayton’s reform. Preceded by the big announcement and introduced by a series of information meetings, it has all the appearance of reform but nothing has changed. The SNZ centralised program continues on and the random selection of young swimmers remains much as it was before. A pampered few continue to cost millions of our dollars. A cossetted and babied minority live like royalty while the rest of the sport starves. The joke that passes as administration in swimming has stayed exactly the same; the same cars, the same $100,000 salaries, the same unnecessary junkets, the same bloated staff numbers, the same chronic waste. The only visible change is the added cost of the Francis’ salary. I suspect the current investigations into rowing, football, cycling, netball and HPSNZ will be similarly cosmetic.

The centralised training policy imposed by Miskimmin in all these sports is the problem. And that is not going to change. Miskimmin will employ every con available to preserve that feature of New Zealand sport. That policy is the foundation of his iron grip on power. As swimming has shown, centralised preparation is riddled with waste and fails to yield results. But it does very successfully concentrate and consolidate bureaucratic power. That’s what Miskimmin likes and that’s why it is not going to change.

The Miskimmin emphasis on centralised preparation has had an unfortunate side effect. The concentration of power and inflated salaries for little real responsibility has attracted the particularly incompetent to careers in sports management. Average high school students go off to study “Sport Management” in some regional polytechnic.  They emerge with a “trade certificate” – they call it a degree, but it is not – and then arrogantly set off to wield disproportionate power over organisations whose Boards are amateur part-timers and don’t really care about results. As a consequence the average sport in New Zealand is badly managed. Duncan Laing was right. Learning management along the lamb-line or boning room of your average freezing works produced a better manager than the business babble bullshit that passes as management in SNZ.

Just look at some of the decisions that these so called managers have made recently. Rowing New Zealand told Eric Murray he couldn’t come back to New Zealand for the birth of his child because soldiers at war had to stay in the field. The way the sport treated Emma Twigg showed a similar disregard for common decency. The decision of SNZ to deny me access to the results of an investigation into a complaint about my coaching was also wrong and dictatorial and disregarded all acceptable management standards. Those responsible for a decision like that should be doing something else in life. Instead SNZ pays them well in excess of $100,000 and sends them on junkets to Japan.

And finally, centralised training combined with poor management has produced a pampered class of athlete babies. The recent string of complaints about being yelled at are a typical product of the cosseted class that results from the fawning treatment athletes are being educated to expect. It is certainly not the way to win Olympic medals. That is a game for tough men and women, something Miskimmin’s empire knows very little about.

There is much more that could be written on the subject of Miskimmin’s folly. Why was Lauren Boyle’s world championship only worth $60,000 when Steve Johns is paid more than twice that every year? Why are 41 people paid over $100,000 in HPSNZ? The slippery slope just goes on and on.

2018 Pan Pacific Games Results

August 13th, 2018

 The 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships have come and gone. How did the New Zealand team perform? Steve Johns has told us it is simple. Funding for swimming depends on winning medals. So let’s look at how much funding New Zealand earned on this occasion. The three tables below show how each of the three pool swimmers performed. The open water swimmers have yet to swim, so they are not included in this report.

Lewis Clareburt

Event Heat or Final Time Place PB or Not
400 IM Heat 4:17.93 7th Not
400 IM Final 4:14.27 5th PB
200 Fly Heat 1:57.36 10th PB
200 Fly Final 1:57.37 8th Not
200 IM Heat 2.00.92 10th Not
200 IM Final 1:59.31 8th PB
200 Back Heat 2:02.13 16th Not
200 Back B Final 2:01.10 7th PB

Daniel Hunter

Event Heat or Final Time Place PB or Not
100 Free Heat 49.86 22nd Not
100 Free B Final 49.89 16th Not
50 Free Heat 22.51 9th Not
50 Free Final 22.39 7th Not

Ali Galyer

Event Heat or Final Time Place PB or Not
100 Back Heat 1:01.61 11th PB
100 Back B Final 1:01.67 12th Not
200 Back Heat 2:10.11 10th Not
200 Back Final 2:10.26 8th Not

According to Steve Johns the link between money and medals is simple but winning medals perhaps, not so simple; not for Steve Johns anyway. This team has returned empty handed. As I have often said that is not the fault of the three swimmers. This barren performance has been a long time in the making. Swimming New Zealand was told over and over again that this would be the result of policies they were following, of money they were wasting. But they ignored our counsel and in 2018 the result is in plain view.

But before looking at the results Swimming New Zealand must be ashamed at a team of just three pool swimmers making it to the Championships. Only two of those were from New Zealand. Ali Galyer had every right to be there but in every other way she is American. Certainly the New Zealand domestic program could only deliver two swimmers to the Championships. Four years ago New Zealand sent a team of eight pool swimmers. That’s a 300% drop in team size. Swimming New Zealand has won the double; it has lost quality and quantity.

In the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships combined, New Zealand swimmers have won one Bronze medal. Well done Cotterill. Well done the Swimming New Zealand Board. Well done Steve Johns. I do hope you are proud of bringing a fine sport to its knees.

I thought it might be interesting to compare how the New Zealand 2014 Pan Pacific Games team performed in comparison to the 2018 team. The table below shows how far down Swimming New Zealand has brought us in four years.

Pan Pacs B Final Final Gold Silver Bronze Av. Place
2014 7 10 0 2 2 8.6
2018 3 5 0 0 0 10.3

Four years ago New Zealand swimmers competed in 10 finals and 7 “B” finals. This year the team managed 5 finals and 3 “B” finals. Four years ago New Zealand swimmers won 2 Silver medals and 2 Bronze medals. This year there were no medals of any sort. Four years ago the average place of a New Zealand swimmer was 9th place. Four years later that has slipped to an average of 11th. Take a bow Swimming New Zealand. That sure looks like a great result for four years work.

Probably the most positive quality of New Zealand’s performance was the percentage of PBs. From 16 swims the team recorded 5 personal best swims, a not spectacular, but better than normal 31%.

It is probably worth remembering that in four years from 2014 to 2018, the Swimming New Zealand Board has been given in excess of $4,000,000 by the New Zealand tax payer. That’s you and me. We gave the Board, that’s Cotterill, Brown, McKee, Tongue, Tootill and Perry and the CEO Johns $4,000,000. We were entitled to expect them to spend it wisely. We were entitled to expect a return on our investment. Instead they delivered no Pan Pacific medals compared to four medals last time. There is not a commercial company in New Zealand that would tolerate that performance. The shareholders of a properly run company would demand accountability. Resignations would be expected from any Board that delivered Swimming New Zealand’s 2018 results.

But this lot have no honour. They will trot next door asking High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) for their 2019 beneficiary handout as though this year’s performance was all part of a well-designed master plan. Cotterill will write an Annual Report that will tell us about another group of juniors about to stun the swimming world; and sadly he will get away with the lie. If HPSNZ was really doing what is best for swimming they would turn Cotterill and Johns away without a cent – nothing at all. HPSNZ must see that the $4,000,000 they have spent has been wasted. There is an old expression that says, why pour good money after bad? Why indeed?

Denying Swimming New Zealand any money at all would probably result in a mass of resignations. Wouldn’t that be a good thing? The decks would be cleared, dead wood would be discarded and responsible people could begin the process of reform.

There may be some who consider what is written here to be too harsh. But before passing judgement, go back to the table that compares where we were four years ago and where we are today. Nothing I say could be as harsh as that tragedy.

Eyad’s Chapter Two

August 10th, 2018

The World’s tallest fountain in Eyad’s previous home town of Jeddah

Some readers will recall a previous post written by Eyad. The post discussed his thoughts before leaving Saudi Arabia. Here in chapter two he discusses his early days getting settled in New Zealand. As you read, remember that amazingly Eyad’s English education was gained listening to pop-songs on his iPhone.

CHAPTER TWO

“Come on, wake up” were the first words I heard from David on my first morning in NZ; waking me up to go for training. I know I just had a very long journey but there is no time to rest, I have got to start working for my dream. Thank you David for saving me from sinking recklessly in sleeping, I now realize it isn’t going to be a soft start.

Training after training, hour after hour, day after day and my only friend was the pain I felt of my achy muscles after training. Ashamed to perform poorly at the nationals, but motivated to prove those who said “YOU CAN’T DO IT” wrong. My passion, my constant reminder to rise not fall, the choice of living not dying got me through it all. Tears were dropped and feelings got hurt, but only to make me miles stronger. People talk to me and say I should see a therapist. Should I listen to those people’s advices or should I shut their voices and immerse my head under water. I choose the silence I get when I dive into the pool over hearing extra noises, and I never regretted this decision.

Ironically, the same water helps me to forget my concerns, is the same water causing my pain. Isn’t that funny! I’m the one treating the pain with more pain. Maybe I am an old fusion guy who believes in ‘treat the fire with fire’. Or maybe just a fool who does not understand that pain is not normal. People should live with no pain, isn’t that true? Well, I don’t want to be normal.

I will never forget that morning when David said “Don’t blame anyone if you did not swim fast, you have a problem and you have the remedy, all for a price and NO ONE but you will pay it”. Yes David, you are right! I’m the one who should go through that fight. Not the fight against achieving my dreams or the fight in the pool at any race, but the one inside my head. I should forget about all the disappointments I had back in Saudi Arabia. Disbelieve everyone said I wasn’t good. And execute what I am meant to do what I have trained for.

But wait; there still one more disappointment I needed to experience. It’s the nationals next week and training has become easier. Did my dream just have gotten easier to achieve? Or am I just getting over confidant after all those long weeks of doing 70 kilometres a week? No, It’s a bit a hesitation mixed with traces of fear from the competition. Remember last time I swam in it I ended with disappointment texts from everyone I looked up to. Everyone I wanted to make proud, made them disappointed. I am sorry for what’s going to happen next.

Yes I had let them down again. God help me because my anger won’t.

Did I just say anger? Why you wonder? I will tell you my secret. My anger is my weapon against my will. Yes I am a nice person and can’t show anger to people around me but I definitely can against my self. Is that where I want to be? Is this why I came here? HELL NO.

Then what am I going to do about it? I know I need to get rid of that fear that I had, that hesitation of not being good enough. Because I am good and I should make people fear me. I am going to prove my self-wrong this time. Everyday is a new challenge, every breath has a purpose and every nice rule must be broken when my surrounding becomes only water. I am not turning into a savage monster; I am unleashing and guiding the mongrel existed in me. Wait and see what’s going to happen because the next chapter will be interesting.

Maybe when you read this you might think I am turning into a psychopath. Mate, give me a night to hang out. I will shout you a glass of beer and make this thought disappear.

Beware – A Tangled Web

August 9th, 2018

I thought you might be interested in the torturous route required to write a recent Swimwatch story. Here is a self-explanatory exchange of emails and the final story. It may be worth typing the name of the sender plus Massey University into Google before you read further.

EMAIL ONE

Dave Crampton

To:David Wright

‎6‎ ‎Aug at ‎5‎:‎31‎ ‎PM

Here’s something. I spoke with Mark Berge today and he has told me he agrees that his Swimming Wellington board is not meeting in accordance with its constitution as it has more board members than its constitution provides for – and this increase in board members over its rules was approved in a letter from Swimming NZ . such changes have to go through the membership, NOT Swimming NZ more later.  MUCH more later.

Dave

 

EMAIL TWO

Dave Crampton

To:David Wright

‎7‎ ‎Aug at ‎12‎:‎52‎ ‎AM

David

have a look at the swim welli constitution. Have a look at the number of board members on the board meeting minutes  and compare that with the rules. Ask Swimming NZ why there is a discrepancy ( hint: they know why) Have a look at the  amount of time spent “in committee”  ( often discussing me but also Masterton and Raumati)

Have a look at the meet entry numbers in Wellington. Its very low apart from champs. Wonder why? Ask yourself why so many senior swimmers from welli clubs are flocking to Capital and why four Swim Welli clubs had just one swimmer each at NAGs. Ask why the swim welli board has no members who are both members of clubs and Swimming Wellington. Mark Berge is not a member of swimming Wellington.

Ask why Swim welli is happy to host a National secondary schools meet that breaches FINA rules ( specifically General Rule 1.1 -eligibility)  in that they permit  non registered swimmers to compete. Will it start in the deep end or the shallow end?  Will FINA recognise the meet if its rule is breached? If not, how can FINA points be  awarded?

ETC Dave

 

EMAIL THREE

Dave Crampton

To:David Wright

‎7‎ ‎Aug at ‎9‎:‎48‎ ‎AM

Can I read it first please? because something you dont know about ( and I cant tell you yet for legal reasons ) is about to drop soon.

Dave

 

EMAIL FOUR

David Wright

To:Dave Crampton

‎7‎ ‎Aug at ‎7‎:‎57‎ ‎PM

CORRUPTION

This post is the first of three that will deal with corruption in Swimming New Zealand. Some of the reports will be pretty dull reading as they take you through the bureaucratic detail required to reveal the corrupt behaviour of those on the Swimming New Zealand Board and management. But persevere, you will find evidence of wrongdoing.

We begin in Wellington. Swimming Wellington merged with Wairarapa Swimming five years ago in July 2013. One result of the merger was an increase of one in the number of Swimming Wellington Board members; from six to seven. This was perfectly legal. Here is what the Swimming Wellington Constitution says on the subject of Board composition.

The Board comprises six persons, (except following a merger of regional associations when for the first three years after the merger, the Board shall comprise no less than six persons and no more than eight persons)

Today I see that the Swimming Wellington Board still has seven members. They are Chairman Mark Berge, Deputy Chairman Paul Matson, Technical Officer Greg Forsythe and Board members Allison Yannakis, Chris Dyhrberg, Murray Pugh and Sam Rossiter-Stead.

I am not sure why Sam Rossiter-Stead is still on the Board. I may be wrong but I was told he had shifted to the Bay of Plenty. However he is still listed as being on the Board. That is seven names which was fine for the period 2013 to 2016. But after 2016 the Constitution requires that the Board return to a maximum of six members. I thought how come Swimming Wellington has operated in breach of its Constitution for two years?

I decided to investigate. Much of what I found is shrouded in secrecy. Certain facts are difficult to find. However it appears that at some time in the past two years someone from Swimming Wellington, probably the President or as he labels himself the consultant on jeans, contacted Swimming New Zealand and asked for permission to allow the Region to have seven Board members. I don’t know the content of their reply. However Swimming New Zealand must have approved because the extra Board member is still there.

If that is what happened, it is a disgrace. No one can trust a Board that ignores the organisation’s Constitution. And as for Swimming New Zealand giving their approval; that is just as bad. Effectively a backroom, deal probably between Christian Renford or Steve Johns and Mark Berge, changed the Wellington Constitution. Swimming Wellington’s Constitution told them both what any change to the Constitution involves. Here is what the Constitution says.

Subject to Clause 15.2 and subject to the prior written consent of Swimming NZ, this constitution may be changed by Special Resolution at a GM for which such change has been notified in accordance with Clause 10.

Swimming New Zealand must also have known better. Here is the same clause from the Swimming New Zealand Constitution.

Subject to rule 20.2 this constitution can only be changed by Special Resolution at a GM for which such change has been notified in accordance with rule 15.

I have scoured the General Meeting minutes listed on the Swimming Wellington website. I can find no record of a “Special Resolution at a General meeting” required, by the Constitution, to make a change to the Constitution. If this is the case, and the Boards of Swimming Wellington and Swimming New Zealand have conspired to ignore the rules, it is really bad. Quite simply it means neither Board can be trusted. It means the sport is being run like some central African dictatorship. It means the Constitutions of Swimming Wellington and Swimming New Zealand are meaningless. And it means those responsible for the corruption should resign – that’s Berge, Cotterill and Johns.

Because corruption is what having seven Board members for two years longer than the Constitution allows is. When Swimming New Zealand received the Wellington letter asking for approval to have seven Board members, their reply should have been conditional on the members approving the change at a General Meeting. But once again the members of the sport were treated like dirt. How dare anyone suggest that Berge or Cotterill should be accountable to the members. If ever there was a case of mushroom management, keep them in the dark and feed them shit, this must be it.

Mind you the members also get what they deserve. In my view Cotterill and Berge have been at this sort of caper for years. Unless members hold them accountable like all autocrats they will misbehave. Give them and inch and they will take a mile. It seems that is exactly what they have done.

Kia Kaha David Wright

 

EMAIL FIVE

Dave Crampton

To:David Wright

‎7‎ ‎Aug at ‎8‎:‎47‎ ‎PM

Hi David

Please do not post this just yet –   I know why Sam Rossiter Stead is on the  board but need to get advice before I  put that to print for legal reasons.

But before I amend this post can you  please do the following

1. write your three posts and email them to me

2. I will then decide after consultation with the relevant people  which bits I  have to seek legal advice on

3.also  which bits I can fill gaps in

4. I will then get back to you with  the rest of the story when I am permitted to.  Its worse than you  have written . So lets do it right,

the reason I am asking this is that I have written to Mark Berge and he has promised to answer my questions  by the weekend. I have asked him for more info that you have provided. Timing is crucial in this. Lets not jump the gun. I will work with you on this  – also   you dont seem to know who the members of swimming wellington are.  None of the board are members. According to SNZ constitution neither are the swim welli  life members!!

Send those three posts  and then give me a couple of days?

Finally  “Effectively a backroom, deal probably between Christian Renford or Steve Johns and Mark Berge, changed the Wellington Constitution.”

1. its worse than that

2. They werent the people involved.

Send those three posts and then give me a couple of days?   I`ll get back to you.

Dave

 

EMAIL SIX

David Wright

To:Dave Crampton

‎7‎ ‎Aug at ‎9‎:‎45‎ ‎PM

Dave

Sorry but I’d prefer to drop the whole thing including not publishing the story written today. Swimwatch is the pet of no one and especially I am not a ghost writer for you.

If you want to publish all that stuff on Swimwatch write it yourself and I’ll put it up with you as the author. But please don’t play the role as Editor in Chief of Swimwatch. That is unacceptable

So write the story yourself.

David

Kia Kaha David Wright

 

The Ruin of Peter Miskimmin

August 8th, 2018

 There is a very good article written by Dylan Cleaver in this morning’s New Zealand Herald. Here is the link:

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12103270

Cleaver argues that the Miskimmin and Sport New Zealand policy of pouring millions into winning international medals is reaching a tipping point. Most resources and effort are going into the top. The base is becoming weaker and weaker. Soon it will fail under the burden of its own weight.

I agree with that view. The evidence is pretty overwhelming. A recent Sport New Zealand survey (Active New Zealand) found that the number of young New Zealanders playing sport had dropped by 7.7% between 1998 and 2014 and has fallen again between 2004 and 2018. Miskimmin’s policies are not working. The financial emphasis on elite medals is hurting the grass roots of New Zealand sport.

In the Wellington information meeting Steve Johns admitted that elite sport was their funding priority. Here is what he said.

I was just going to say, before you go onto that, I mean, in very simplistic terms, that money is linked to Gold medals. If we want more money we need more medals. Very simple.   

That obsession with money and therefore medals has led Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) to thousands of bad decisions. Twenty five years and $35million dollars have been spent for what – one Bronze medal at the last Commonwealth Games. Does that sound like an acceptable return to anyone? Believe me, every Millennium Swim School learn-to-swim instructor does more to promote the health of New Zealand swimming in one Saturday morning swim lesson than Cotterill and Johns have managed in two decades spending $35million.

While I agree with Cleaver, I actually think it’s worse than he says. He argues that overfunding elite sport at the expense of the base is causing damage because the base is gradually rotting away. I would go further. The millions spent at the top is bad for sport at that level as well. Overfunded sports become greedy, conceited, arrogant and dishonest. They act like royalty and deliver pauper’s results.

We saw the shambles that preceded the Commonwealth Games. Not enough accommodation was booked to house the Games training camp. A swimmer withdrew because of injury and an unqualified swimmer was added at the last minute. What a mess.

And the Pan Pacific Games, about to begin on Thursday, are heading in the same direction. For some reason Swimming New Zealand decided a month-long training camp in Japan was a worthwhile use of their resources. What a chronic waste. The swimmers would have been better off spending another two weeks in their own beds, training with their own coaches, in their own pools and eating their own food.

And then Steve Johns was off on a paid junket to sign a contract with the Mayor of Kobe, Japan confirming that SNZ would use the Kobe pool as their training centre before the Olympic Games. That was a glorious waste of taxpayer’s money, that’s you and me because we paid for it. The signing could have been done for free, on a computer.

And now I read that Emma Robinson has withdrawn from the team because of illness. That is not Emma Robinson’s fault or Swimming New Zealand. But it is another sign of the black cloud of misfortune that follows around behind everything that Cotterill and Johns touch.

In previous posts I have mentioned the arrogance that comes with HPSNZ’s overfunding of Swimming New Zealand. The table below repeats some of these examples.

SNZ constructed a stage on poolside at the National Championships for swimmers in the Centralised Program to sit above and separate from the masses.

The Commonwealth Games Head Coach had team meetings that excluded swimmers who trained outside the Centralised Program.

It is not uncommon to see Centralised Program swimmers training one person to a lane. Six swimmers, six lanes is more than Phelps and Jeffrey would ever expect. 

For years Swimming New Zealand promoted its Centralised Program on its webpage as the best in the country, offering more than any local program. It was a disgusting put down of every local coach.

Who on earth do Johns and Francis think they are? At information meetings and the like they pass judgement on local coaches and local programs. Where they get the arrogant idea that they are qualified to make those judgements, I have no idea. They have less knowledge combined, of what’s involved in good swimming, than a dozen New Zealand coaches I could name.

But it’s not only swimming that demonstrates the arrogance of Miskimmin’s money. Rowing is a classic. Just consider their high-handed and disgusting treatment of Tonks, Twigg and Jenkins, behaviour that is clearly the product of too much money and inflated egos. Like swimming they have lost sight of the fact that this whole deal is about a holistic approach to the people involved. But to Rowing NZ’s High Performance Director, Alan Cotter, it’s about keeping Miskimmin happy enough to sign next year’s five million dollar cheque.  

Basketball is no better. Sadly that sport has lost New Zealand’s best player, Steve Adams, because of the way he was treated as a junior. And all power to Adams. The lessons he is teaching the sport are long overdue. I hope they have enough brains to learn.

And so I agree that the disproportionate resources poured into elite sport is seriously eroding the health of the base. The fanatical push for medals combined with the shallow and badly trained mass of bureaucrats that prance around as sport’s managers is catastrophic for elite sport. Some of the most seriously inflated egos in this world belong to your average swimming pool manager. I exclude the Millennium Pool manager. He is brilliant. Most pool managers rule over their domain like third world dictators. Matching them for ego though is the CEO of your average New Zealand sport. For some reason the career of sports management has attracted those who can’t make it in real management jobs. Instead they run around pandering to every HPSNZ whim, pleading for next year’s funding. If you want to find out the cause of the problems in sport and in SNZ in particular – just follow Miskimmin’s money.