In October 2008 GymSports New Zealand (GSNZ) hosted the Indo-Pacific Trampoline and Tumbling Championships (IPTTC) in Rotorua – a five day event which attracted over 300 competitors from seven countries.
GSNZ’s hosting partnership with the Rotorua District Council (RDC) was a beneficial collaboration for both organisations. Together they created an outstanding legacy programme for the people of Rotorua and GymSports across New Zealand.
The Indo Pacific Champs are held every two years but had never been hosted in New Zealand. When GymSports New Zealand (GSNZ) was successful in their pitch to bring the 2008 ITTCP to New Zealand, they chose Rotorua as the host city.
They felt the region had a unique geographical appeal and would be of cultural interest to visitors. Furthermore Rotorua was very well placed to host the event. The Council had led the development of the award winning Energy Events Centre, which opened in March 2007, and offered an ideal lakeside facility.
The RDC made an ideal partner because of its commitment to both a positive economic impact, and an event that would create a legacy of social wellbeing. “As well as commitment, RDC had the expertise, as well as the business, community and sporting connections, and communication channels to make the most of the ITTCP coming to town”, says Business Development Manager for GSNZ, Sarah Ashmole.
“With the RDC we were able to get much greater economic and social impact. Through their partnership we got far greater opportunities for what could be achieved,” she says.
Through its connections, RDC was able to forge shared events and goals leading up to, during, and after the ITTCP among the GymSports club community, Sport Bay of Plenty, local schools, and community funders.
Promotion and Legacy Initiatives
A working group established by GSNZ and the RDC events team set up a range of activities leading up to the championships. These targeted different sectors and ages with promotional support from regional media.
- a demonstration from members of the international team at the opening ceremony of the AIMS Intermediate Schools Sport championships. There were more than 2,000 children and their families attending the night time ceremony.
- a trampoline demonstration in the Redwood Forest where 200 people were attending a regional chamber of commerce meeting. Nine months out from the championship, this gave regional business leaders a preview of the coming event and contributed to the securing of extra partners and funding well beyond the RDC’s original event budget.
- a world record challenge. Teams of 12 athletes competed to break the world forward roll record. In one hour they rolled 10,183.9 metres over the previous 9,092.4 metre record, and attracted national radio coverage.
- 1,800 school children were bussed in over three days from 16 schools to participate in GSNZ New Foundation Skills programme. They were set up in the city’s old sportsdrome attached to the new event centre. GSNZ and Sport Bay of Plenty organised their activities, the Bay Trust funded marketing support and bus transport, and the Rotorua Energy Trust provided tickets for the school groups to attend the Indo Pacific championships.
- free sessions for under five year olds, offered to early childhood organisations as well as families, were held twice weekly in September at Mid Island GymSports Club.
- free sessions were also provided for over five year olds at Mid Island GymSports Club.
- two ‘give-it-a-go’ days were offered for the public to trial trampolining in the Rotorua city centre and at Rotorua’s ‘Ekiden’ relay marathon event.
The combined efforts of GSNZ, RDC, and all the organisations they brought on board, along with the national media coverage the event enjoyed, exceeded expected outcomes.
The exercise has resulted in a marked increase in interest in the sport both nationally and regionally, has driven development at Mid Island GymSports Club, and led to an increase in numbers participating in trampolining classes locally and nationally.
For GSNZ the legacy programme resulted in nearly 46,000 hits on their website in October 2008 – doubling previous records.
Positive statistics from Mid Island GymSports since the Indo Pacific event include:
- 35% increase in enquiries for trampoline classes
- membership expected to show increase to 480 in 2009 from previously static 415
- competitive trampoline classes doubling in size
- adult class numbers increasing by 5%
- a 15% increase in number of boys participating
- four new enquiries from schools and preschools
As a result of this growth the club is now seeking a further full time coach and the trampoline community is looking to run a regional competition in 2009 to support the development and growth of the sport.
The Rotorua economy benefited from the event by an estimated $785,000. However it is the legacy of increased participation in sport in the city that will provide more enduring benefits to its community and economy.
“GSNZ now realise we have the capacity to run big events and can step up a level from this exercise to a world championship. By tapping in to others’ resources, creating partnerships, and finding support in ways we hadn’t previously done, we’ve also learned there is huge opportunity for GymSports in New Zealand to grow our sport” says Sarah Ashmole.
“The event has also highlighted how GymSports can benefit many areas of the community including other sports. By providing classes specific to the needs of those sports, GymSports numbers can grow in the region. Mountain biking, which is very popular in Rotorua, is one which could be targeted, for example.”
“This event demonstrated how important it is to engage the community and to work in partnerships,” says RDC Events and Venues Manager, Martin Croft.” “We got national television coverage, but children who had taken part in the lead-up activities summed up the legacy on local radio. They said it was the coolest things they had ever done.”
Sarah Ashmole, GymSports New Zealand, 09 306 0294, sarah@GymSportsnz.com
Martin Croft, Rotorua District Council, 07 350 1744, firstname.lastname@example.org
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