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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




Amateur athletics in New Zealand today are controlled by the New Zealand Amateur Athletic Association, which has nine constituent centres from Northland to Southland, over 250 affiliated clubs, and over 6,000 registered athletes. The association conducts annual New Zealand championships for men, women, and junior (under 19) athletes. Some of the women's championships date back to 1926 and the rest, with the junior championships, to 1939. The N.Z.A.A.A. recognises New Zealand (that is, “open”) records and New Zealand resident records for all three grades. Athletic teams for the Olympic and Empire Games (the former being officially the world championships) are chosen on the recommendation of two selectors, one in each island, and put forward to the New Zealand Olympic and British Empire Games Association, to which the N.Z.A.A.A. is affiliated, for final selection of the New Zealand team. Until 1928 the N.Z.A.A.A. was affiliated to the now defunct Amateur Athletic Union of Australia and New Zealand, and until the early thirties also controlled amateur cycling in the Dominion. Perhaps the outstanding individuals in its history have been the late R. W. McVilly, M.V.O., its president from 1925 to 1940; A. Urquhart, a life member and former president who is one of only two New Zealanders to have served on a committee of the I.A.A.F.; H. L. Towers, M.B.E., also a life member and former president, who was the force behind the inauguration of the juniors' and women's championships; and H. I. Austad, M.B.E., possibly New Zealand's outstanding sporting official, with a record of life member and former president, member of the management committee for 40 years and its chairman for 34, and life member of the N.Z.O.B.E.G.A., on which he has served for 37 years, 15 years as chairman and four as president.