Cycling New Zealand Schools

by Janette Douglas, Events Manager, Cycling New Zealand

Cycling New Zealand Schools oversees the delivery, administration and governance of Schools Cycling in New Zealand including the delivery of its endorsed events, the membership of the students and schools and acts as the official organisation reporting to New Zealand Secondary Schools Sports Council (NZSSSC).

Cycling New Zealand Schools aims to connect schools cycling more closely with the wider national cycling landscape and acknowledges the important role of schools cycling as one of the first steps in the cycling development and competition pathway. Cycling New Zealand and Cycling New Zealand Schools share the ambition to maximise the growth in participation of competitive cycling in schools (intermediate and secondary schools).

Cycling New Zealand Schools holds 11 sanctioned events during the year with over 200 affiliated schools and over 3200 students taking part in 2017.  The events include North Island, South Island and National Championships over Road, Track and MTB. There are also two Road Cycling Tours, the Northern Tour held in Auckland and the Southern Tour held in Blenheim.

Cycling New Zealand has worked with EnterNOW for over two years.  The partnership has increased each year to now include all 11 events on the platform and under the Cycling New Zealand Schools umbrella.  This has now enabled school sports coordinators to experience a streamline, consistent and simple experience to enter their students from a single platform for all sanctioned cycling events.  There are huge benefits working with a provider who is well known, recognised and supported by a large amount of school sporting bodies and is known to the school contacts.  We have worked closely with Alex and the team to implement improvements and they have been able to offer unique solutions to our sport specific challenges and look forward to continuing the relationship.

Visit www.schoolscycling.nz for information, contacts and entry information for Cycling New Zealand Schools events and if your school is interested in taking part in cycling events in the future.

The Genesis of SportsRunner

The Genesis of SportsRunner

Like many small businesses, SportsRunner emerged as the result of an accident of fate.  As distinct from a process of strategic planning around a pre-identified market opportunity.

Here, in a nutshell, to mark our 20th anniversary, is how it got started.

For many years, College Sport Wellington have managed the delivery of the bulk of secondary school sport competitions in the Wellington region.

In 1997, they were undergoing a big upgrade in their computer systems, and moving to use Microsoft Office.

To put the key players in the picture:

  • John Hornal had been the Director of College Sport since its inception in 1989. A role he continued, incidentally, until his very recent retirement.
  • At the time, Prue Kelly was the Principal of Wellington High School, and was also a member of the Board of College Sport Wellington.
  • And I was teaching computer skills courses at Wellington High’s Community Education Centre.

So…

  • John asked Prue if she could recommend someone to help him and his staff get on board with their new software.
  • Prue put him in touch with me.
  • I went to College Sport and did some staff training.

So I was there as a trainer.  But in the course of my work, I noticed the way they were setting up their sports competitions, using tables in WordPerfect documents. And I asked John about how much time it took them to process the draws and results.

And then I, knowing next to nothing about sports administration, was somehow inspired to suggest that I could come up with a better way to manage their competitions.

And then John, knowing next to nothing about computer database applications, said okay, let’s do it.

Bear in mind that, even though only 20 years ago, things were pretty different then, and the idea of using software to automate sports competition management was quite radical. So for both John and myself, taking this on was a huge leap of faith.

Well, the rest is history. We got stuck in, building a system to automate much of their work, using College Sport Wellington’s existing manual procedures as the model. And before too long (after a lot of work!) we had something in place that was definitely providing great benefit.

Of course, it was still pretty primitive, compared with what the SportsRunner system has now become after 20 years of continued enhancement and development.

But it was useful enough that other sports organisations, who saw what College Sport Wellington were doing, decided they wanted some of that too.

Thus was born a process by which the SportsRunner project became the central focus of my work and learning ever since. It has been a fantastic ride, and it still is.