Home' The Wellingtonian : May 10th 2012 Contents 23
THE WELLINGTONIAN, MAY 10, 2012
Cameron's sports work honoured
Lifetime of service
marked with award
By CHRIS HYDE
Sporting gesture: Paul Cameron holds the Sport New Zealand lifetime achievement award he was presented with this
Photo: CHRIS HYDE
Wellington sports stalwart Paul
Cameron has been presented with a
lifetime achievement award at the
New Zealand Sport and Recreation
Cameron, who was chief executive
of Sport Wellington from 1996 to
2011, said he was overwhelmed to
receive the award.
Sport New Zealand invited me up
to the dinner to present an award to
somebody else, he said. I had abso-
lutely no idea until they started to
read out the citation.
I don t see myself as being old
enough, but to get it is quite special.
Cameron s achievements include
advocacy for the new $47 million
ASB sports centre in Kilbirnie and
the creation of the Round the Bays
The spare time created by his
retirement last October has allowed
him to contemplate his work.
My wife and I walked it [Round
the Bays] this year. I got a real buzz
out of that, he said.
Cameron, an All White in the
1970s, was particularly proud of the
rise of the Wellington Phoenix and
felt the club could expand its reach
I believe that every junior
footballer in New Zealand should be
a member of the Phoenix.
It would be pretty significant for
the youngster and would also help
grow the support base of the club
and the game.
Cameron said that the perform-
ance of some of Wellington s top
teams had not been great in recent
times, but he was noticing a change
The team culture of the
Hurricanes is being built, the
Phoenix has an incredible team cul-
ture and the Pulse s culture is rap-
idly improving under Robyn
When you look at the best clubs
around, they are the teams that have
built the best culture. That cannot be
Asked how he felt
about the overall state
of Wellington sport, Mr
Cameron said a lot of
things were in good
shape, but the develop-
ment of facilities was
The current swim-
ming facilities in Wel-
lington are falling well
behind, whether it is
elite, high performance
He said that the
council s decision not to
fund an extension to
Regional Aquatic Cen-
tre was a mistake.
Cameron said one of
the major highlights of
his time at Sport Wel-
lington was seeing
more people getting the opportunity,
and taking the opportunity, to par-
ticipate in sport.
He was full of praise for his former
staff, who helped him initiate
programmes such as Green
Prescriptions, an initiative that
helps medically overweight patients
into physical activity.
Sport Wellington has a lot of very
competent, dedicated staff who
worked hard for the region during
He said 15 years was a long time
to spend in his job, but he loved the
work and had no regrets.
Every year there were new
challenges. I just wish I d had more
time to do even more.
Despite stepping down from Sport
Wellington last year, Cameron said
that he would always be connected to
He remains on the board of the
Halberg Trust, a charity that works
to enhance the lives of disabled
people by enabling them to partici-
pate in sport, and he helps a range of
sports and sports organisations in
A coach's precarious existence
Farewell: John Wright, flanked by
New Zealand Cricket chief executive
David White, announces he will not
be continuing with the Black Caps.
New Zealand has certainly
embraced the cult of the
It is an age since Glenn Turner
became the New Zealand cricket
team coach in 1985, and wasn t
allowed to be called coach . He
was cricket manager .
The term coach is considered
demeaning to the players, Turner
explained to me. At the point
they re at in their careers, they
don t like people to think they
need a coach.
So Richard Hadlee, Martin
Crowe, Ian Smith, Jeremy Coney,
John Wright, John Bracewell and
the rest could take advice from a
cricket manager, but not a coach.
Those days are long gone. Inter-
national sports teams now don t
have just one coach. They have a
veritable army of them.
The cricketers have a head
coach, an assistant, and fielding,
batting and bowling coaches, plus
assorted other hangers-on.
Top rugby teams have coaches,
assistant coaches, forwards
coaches, backs coaches, defence
coaches, set piece coaches, kicking
coaches and more.
Judged by how many there are,
coaches must be incredibly
important. Amazing then that for
many decades sports teams got by
I ve been scanning the
newspapers over the past few days
for New Zealand coach stories.
There s been the John Wright
saga, of course.
Wright, the New Zealand
cricket team coach, has quit
because he doesn t get on with
New Zealand Cricket s No 2 man,
John Buchanan. The debate
seems to be about which of them is
In rugby, Wayne Smith and Pat
Lam have been the coaches get-
ting the most ink.
Smith turned down a plum
coaching job in England, appar-
ently because he loves New Zea-
land rugby so much his blood is
black , according to one writer.
Makes you wonder why he
bothered to negotiate with the
English officials, if his heart was
in New Zealand to that degree.
Pat Lam is being held respon-
sible for the Blues appalling run
Such is the lot of the coach.
There s been little focus on the
players deficiencies -- out-of-
shape, poor attitude, insufficient
skills and bad decision-making.
Stephen Kearney is copping it
in rugby league. Just as he
seemed to be over-praised when
the Kiwis won the World Cup in
2008, now he is evidently the one
person to blame for the
Parramatta Eels dismal effort in
winning only one match this
National Rugby League season.
Even netball has got into the
Two (!) weekend papers ran
stories about how Central Pulse
(and former Southern Steel) coach
Robyn Broughton had been hard
done by in her coaching career
because she wasn t shoulder-
tapped for the Silver Ferns job
It s all terribly shallow.
Just think about Graham
He is now Sir Graham, and in
demand everywhere as a speaker,
a coaching adviser and a sage on
all things, really.
Yet if Stephen Donald s penalty
against France in the World Cup
final last year had swung one
more metre to the right, Henry
would be a figure of scorn, the only
All Blacks head coach to lose two
Coaches sit on the sideline
powerless, while their reputations
and futures are in the hands of
youngsters out on the field.
It s a precarious existence.
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