Initially all national school tournament soccer was administered by the NZSS Football Association. With the rapid growth of girls’ football in the late 1980’s the late Mr Deane Low formed the current NZSSGFA. The NZSSBFA continued to administer the boys.
Deane Low played a significant role in the earlier years and served as our Patron from 2001 until his passing in 2019.
Before the current administrators the Association was provided with invaluable service by Mr Tim Cockle, Mr Maurice Hulme, Mrs Kathy Seaward and Mr Grant Jarvis. These names above will be recognized as the titles of our regional satellite trophies. Throughout this period Lotto NZ (Score Sportswear) has been our loyal and generous sponsor.
The Association has a close relationship with the School Sport NZ and in recent years our representative team has been involved in a partnership with NZ Football.
We view our purpose as meeting three key roles:
To assist regional sports bodies to host annual tournaments
We have in excess of 130 participating schools. This includes many new school members. This increase offers a significant challenge to our Executive, local councils, host sports bodies, referees and accommodation providers.
The format of tournaments is subject to a wide range of differing points of view. The Association through their AGM, appraisal feedback and surveys strive hard to offer the majority choice. The objectives and guidelines of NZSS Sports Council must also be considered in order for tournament sanctioning.
To assist with and co-ordinate the NZSS Representative Team
Through our partnership with NZ Football we believe this team is offered a high international standard of coaching and administration with a selection process that uses the full IPDP network. We acknowledge our role as an identification process for the NZ Womens’ team and align our training and playing philosophy accordingly. The key concept of this team being our international ambassadors for schools is never forgotten and we take great pride in the conduct and dignity of our players.
We have enjoyed a close relationship with Australia Schools that provides an annual trophy challenge. Although more distant challenges are desirable significant barriers need to be overcome concerning player finances, available playing dates and the widespread NCEA internal assessment.
To represent schoolgirls’ football interests
Schoolgirls’ football is now a large, growing and vibrant body of students. It is important that their interests and rights are protected through an Association that represents both their schools and their chosen code. NZ Football has a current arrangement to regularly consult with NZSSGFA over common issues and a Schools representative has been invited to Federation Boards.
Two key issues to be addressed are the improvement of communication between schools and Federations and the significant loss of players upon leaving school. It is a major concern for the code and future of football that so few players join or remain in the club structure as they leave school.
Ultimately the Association relies on the support of its member schools, the regional sports bodies and the volunteers who make up our Executive. As teaching demands continue to grow we need to encourage, assist and thank the many individuals who enable this Association to fulfil these roles.