Big Changes at Low Performance Sport New Zealand

I was delighted to hear of the appointment of Dame Valerie Adams to the board of High Performance Sport New Zealand. We need people like Adams in positions of leadership, and I’m sure she will do a great job.

But there have also been big changes in the sporting organisation I lead. I thought I would share these with you.

Firstly, the new board appointment. I am pleased to announce that All Blacks captain Sam Cane has been appointed to the board of Low Performance Sport New Zealand. Cane will bring to the board a strong record of leading dismal teams to history-making defeats.

Of course, Cane is a modest man, and would never claim the sole credit in successfully leading his team to so many failures. He can rightly blame poor coaching decisions and the failure of those around him to step up. But the record sits with him.

Now in the interests of transparency I need to say that Cane has not yet formally accepted the board appointment. In fact I haven’t heard from Sam yet. But why wouldn’t he say yes? He has been injury prone these last few seasons and needs to start thinking about a career outside rugby. This is a perfect role for him. Sure, there is no pay, and I’m not entirely sure what the job entails other than shit-talking people who have performed at an elite level and whose worst sporting performances still make my own achievements look feeble. But I am confident that with some of that sweet Sports NZ funding we will be able to come up with a fancy mission statement and a nice logo.

And now the bad news. Cane will be taking the place of Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George, whose lawyers this week threatened me with legal action if I didn’t immediately remove his name from the list of Low Performance Sport New Zealand board members. I was astonished when I read the letter, because the Warriors haven’t threatened anyone for the last couple of seasons. But I respect entirely Mr George’s desire to devote his attentions to only one joke sporting organisation. Cameron, you will be missed. Your unique insights into one of the most poorly performing professional sports teams in New Zealand history were greatly valued. If your time at Low Performance Sport New Zealand has taught you anything, may it be to bring mediocrity to everything you endeavour.

Even with Cameron George’s departure, Low Performance Sport New Zealand has a bright future in advocating for those who are a bit crap at sport. For every high-performance sportsperson in this country there are hundreds of failures. These failures need to be celebrated, not ignored. I want Low Performance Sport New Zealand to be there for our kids. Our children need to know they will almost certainly amount to nothing on the sports field. Their future is not as a striker for Real Madrid or Manchester City, but as an assistant manager at Hallensteins.

If all the awful athletes, shit golfers and crappy cricketers could work together as one, just think what we could achieve. Probably not much. Which is what Low Performance Sport New Zealand is all about.

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