The second of a two-part interview with new College Sport chief executive Dave Currie.
Would you like to see College Sport relinquish the task of organising some of the 20 sports it currently has?
It's early days but we have to get closer to the regional sporting organisations. It's not about owning the sport, it comes back to the whole notion of sport in schools where sport is part of the educational framework. If children leave school and have not been educated, then we have failed. There needs to be a balance around all of that. It's not just about sport.
Schools are overburdened and under pressure. Some of the bigger sports have the resources, so it's about maximising what everyone can add. Cricket is a good example. Auckland Cricket Association is now running most of the cricket and it seems to be a really good model.
Are the perennial issues surrounding, say, the 1A rugby competition, Auckland Rugby Union or College Sport problems?
College Sport. We are charged with making sure there's a viable competition that it is fair and accessible and affordable. In my view, we don't have to run it but we have to make sure it complies with the principles we hold. Rugby is a good debate. Auckland Rugby is a bit protective around Auckland. College Sport is Greater Auckland, Counties Manukau and North Harbour.
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Our role at College Sport is to bring together these schools and sports that meet everyone's needs the best we can. To give the board credit, they did realise a couple of years back that they were working in isolation, they did this review, said we have to work in partnership and started the process. Now that's always scary for everybody. I guess that's the role they have asked me to play, in the middle, how do we make it work.
Is the emphasis on premier sport understandable, or is there sometimes too much focus on it, to the detriment of lower grades?
We would be a bit concerned if schools put all their efforts into premier grades and not into the others. My observation is that doesn't happen. The schools that are focused on sport have lots of teams. Some make it compulsory to play a summer or winter sport. We have been offering up these 40-odd sports. Part of the conversations we are keen to have with students is: are these the right 40-odd sports? Is there new stuff we should do? Should some go? I'm not sure whether we can do an unending expansion either. The other group we need to have a conversation with is parents, particularly Year 9-10 parents. My children are in that category as parents. Year 9-10 parents spend half their lives getting their kids to sport. You are just keen for your kid to be doing sport on a regular basis. Does it have to be pan-Auckland or can we do it in cluster? Transport is a challenge, so trying to simplify things in the lower grades seems sensible.
What are your plans for the 25th YSPOTY night in November?
I was with the Halberg Trust and the Halberg Awards for 17 years, so 25 years is significant. It's a long time. We have a lot of the winners up on the walls here. We know who the 40-odd winners are since 1991. In partnership with the Herald, we'd like to find out where they are, what they are doing, what they've done, what impact sport has on their lives, and get them all together. It's a neat opportunity to celebrate what we've done over 25 years.
You might have to get in early to secure Lydia Ko's attendance (a 2012-13 winner).
She'll certainly be invited! Temepara Bailey has joined the College Sport staff, following another top netballer, former Auckland captain Nicky Read. She brings her skills from high performance sport. What we were looking for was her passion, energy and commitment to get things done. Often top sportspeople bring passion but not always the ability to get things done. We knew she had a good profile, but what was refreshing and convincing was that she understood what we were about and was passionate about making a difference. She'll add some real value to us, and test and challenge us. We need someone brave and courageous.