Sport Bay of Plenty
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A message from our board chair

Tena tātou katoa

The 19-20 year has been like no other taking into account Covid-19, a national wide lockdown and what that has meant to Sport Bay of Plenty, as a Regional Sports Trust. This will somewhat reflect my views as Chair of Sport Bay of Plenty, from when I stepped into the role in March 2020.

Like many organisations, the lockdown posed unique challenges as well as opportunities. From a health and wellbeing perspective, the lockdown appeared to provide the community the chance to re-set and for the most part to have more time at home with family, walking and cycling as well as other home-based exercises. This leads well into Sport Bay of Plenty’s vision of more people, more active, more often.

As a region the Bay of Plenty benefitted from our magnificent natural environment and a burgeoning range of cycleways and walkways that were put to good use during the lockdown. As an organisation we hope this continues as life gets back to some sort of normal.

Tom E    CROP
Tom E snippet

Some of the challenges faced by Sport Bay of Plenty as a result of lockdown was the stress testing of moving to a working from home scenario in which technology as well as the evolving virtual interactions with community and colleagues took precedent. It must be said that an organisation is only as strong as the people within it and 2020 has been a year for resilience and this has been shown by our Chief Executive Heidi Lichtwark and her Senior Leadership Team of Catherine McCulloch, Nick Chambers and Melanie Short.

This challenge was taken head on by all the Sport Bay of Plenty team with regular virtual updates and challenges ensuring that the wellbeing of all staff was front and centre and that everyone remained connected. Technology also allowed the organisation to adapt and then thrive in what must be some of the more demanding circumstances in recent times. The innovative use of technology also meant the team stayed connected with our wider community facilitating online workshops and learning opportunities, which were well received.

As we reflect we need to thank all of our stakeholders including Sport New Zealand, the Local and Regional Authorities, BayTrust, RSOs, TECT, RECT, the District Health Boards and Primary Health Organisations in the Bay of Plenty regions, along with the many schools and sports clubs we work with for the support and partnership that they have displayed during the second quarter of 2020. Continued support and communication has allowed Sport Bay of Plenty to focus on keeping more people, more active, more often, and seek to entrench positive habits formed during lockdown.

Looking forward to 2020/21, as an organisation we will be implementing learnings from Covid-19, to support the wider community and sporting sector which has faced significant upheaval. As an organisation we will be undertaking a strategic planning process as we seek to re-focus our strategic aims in consultation with our stakeholder, partners and the community for the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan.

The Board has had an enjoyable year for 2019/20. We bid farewell to Paul Wollaston, our outgoing Chair, in February 2020 after 9 years with us - the last three as Chairperson. Paul made a significant contribution to Sport Bay of Plenty and he will be missed. All Trustees have continued to provide invaluable input and guidance into the direction of the organisation, and their dedication to the success is greatly appreciated.

Lastly, we continue to have a fantastic group of people within our organisation that even during trying and challenging circumstances continue to strive to engage with the community and I would like to thank them all for their input into making Sport Bay of Plenty what it is.
The Board is looking forward to what lies ahead, with much good work to be done to make the region more active and healthy and this ably led Heidi and the dedicated team at Sport Bay of Plenty.

Ngā mihi maioha kia tātou katoa!

Tom Elvin – Sport Bay of Plenty board chair

x3 May 2016