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FIFA U-20 World Cup

Leverage and Legacy: Top 10 stories from the Local Organising Committee

(LOC)
Futsal court in Auckland's city centre.
© LOC

1. Tourism and Trade - Showcasing NZ and its Regions to the World

Exposure of New Zealand, its regions and business to tourism and business contacts, including via world-wide television audiences, is an over-arching outcome of FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015 - and a key objective of New Zealand Football’s Beyond Football High Performance Plan. International media coverage has included the live television feed of the Official Draw to 50 countries. Tourism NZ and NZ Trade and Enterprise are being assisted with initiatives to link with international audiences and markets. Tourism NZ/Regional Tourism is being provided with access and seating in match venues to assist contact with international media.

The global promotional opportunities provided by the tournament directly link with the Beyond Football Plan which aims to deliver multi-million dollar FIFA investment in football in New Zealand, provide an elevated profile for New Zealand throughout the world and create significant government relations, tourism and trade and industry leverage opportunities leading to potential foreign earnings.

International television audiences totalling in the vicinity of 200 million viewers are expected to watch FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015 as a result of football’s global reach.

2. Capability Objective – Playing Field Gains

The training field requirements for FIFA teams provided a huge opportunity to gain investment in improved and new playing fields – an outstanding legacy for New Zealand outdoor sport, which is sometimes blighted by wet winters cancelling weekend activity week after week. The target objective was exceeded. Included are new fields at Springs Flat in Whangarei (accelerated by the hosting of the tournament and including two full international standard fields plus provision for two other fields), two sand carpeted pitches in Hamilton, and three sand carpeted pitches in Christchurch. Christchurch City Council underwrote the $1.65m cost of its three fields, and deducted from this was the FIFA contribution of $US200k plus funds it secured from other parties. Whangarei District Council’s cost for the four new fields was $1.6m and in addition approximately $700k in local funds has been invested in facilities including buildings at the park – brought forward because of FIFA U-20 WC 2015.

The achievement of playing field improvements in Christchurch is a hallmark of FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015 and has played a role in the post-earthquake revival of the city.

The creation and upgrade of facilities as part of the delivery of the tournament will be of tremendous benefit to New Zealand Football as the infrastructure supporting the development of the game continues to improve. The country’s ability to deliver on the strategic and high performance plans is greatly influenced by the facilities available to deliver the game at all levels.

Stadiums were well prepared for the tournament as a result of investment in Rugby World Cup 2011, but some improvements were made for FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015, including 6000 seats added to North Harbour Stadium to provide seats at the ends of the ground (part-funded by a $100,000 contribution from the LOC).
* 3. Diversity Objective – Celebrating Multi-culturalism*

While formative at this stage, NZ Football’s strategic work in the diversity space is inspiring and promises to break new ground for sport in New Zealand in embracing ethnic groups and assisting immigrant integration.

NZF is implementing new guidelines for clubs. Under the equal opportunities section of its Quality Club Mark 1 Star award it asks clubs to list and provide details of strategies used to approach and source players, volunteers and supporters from ethnic communities. NZF has set the seven regional federations targets of 35 clubs nationally (5 each) to be accredited in QCM by the end of June 2015.

A Memorandum of Understanding will be proposed for signature by NZF with NZ Police, who have been leaders in fostering links with ethnic groups through football. The LOC financially supported the NZ Communities Cup national ethnic tournament which has been supported by NZ Police in recent years. The LOC has also supported other ethnic tournaments including a Ramadan tournament in Wellington. Christchurch’s Global Football Festival was among other highlights.

These were inspirational achievements sparked by the knowledge that the tournament would bring to New Zealand young role models from diverse cultures right across the world.

4. Participation Objective – College Futsal

The rapid expansion of College Futsal (FIFA’s five-a-side indoor/outdoor game), combined with reported growth in NZF 2015 registrations, will ensure the success of the Leverage and Legacy objective to grow participation by 10 per cent.

College Futsal grew from 11,218 participants in 2013 to 18,853 in the last term of 2014 (when a financial boost was triggered by the LOC) and is forecast to meet the Leverage and Legacy target of 30,867 in 2015/2016.

Additional Futsal staff have been appointed or increased from part to fulltime in a number of regional football federations as a result of funding leveraged by the event:

o Northern – FT Futsal Development Manager
o Auckland – FT Futsal Development Officer
o WaiBOP – PT Futsal Development Officer position increased to FT
o Central – PT Futsal Development Officer in Taranaki
o Mainland - PT Futsal Development Officer

Further appointments are expected as more regional funding is gained, including in Wellington. Capital and Mainland Football Federations have joined Auckland and Northern in leveraging regional funding for the College Futsal initiative

5. Capability Objective – Homes of Football

The tournament has already provided excellent assistance in the progression of a number of projects at regional level which will enhance the infrastructure available to deliver football in New Zealand. Further, a national Home of Football will greatly add to New Zealand Football’s ability to reach its goals within the Beyond Football Plan and the on-going discussion, development and creation of similar regional hubs is vital to the long-term vision for the sport.

Local Homes of Football had been identified by some regions as ideal outcomes when brainstorming the desired legacy from FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015 – that is, a headquarters for the game in the region featuring a number of playing fields and ideally artificial playing surfaces to assist all-weather football, along with office facilities.

It has been pleasing to see the tournament organisation act as a catalyst for bringing together stakeholders with this objective in mind. In Dunedin there has been a well-facilitated approach, with stakeholders meeting, identifying a preferred location and drawing up a proposed way forward. New Plymouth has also held stakeholder discussions which are firming up, and a Home of Football strategy is being developed by the Waikato Bay of Plenty Football Federation.

6. Participation Objective – Futsal Court

A transportable Futsal Court was sourced, funded and imported by LOC – for use as a promotional vehicle in host cities during the lead-up to the tournament and which will be handed over post-tournament to New Zealand Football as a legacy item for future use.

7. Diversity Objective – Schools Programme

A curriculum-based schools programme is in place, with 350 schools signed up by mid-April 2015. This builds on New Zealand Football’s work in schools.

*8. Capability Objective – Developing Personnel *
A total 971 of the 1500 people who offered their time and skills as Tournament Volunteers also answered in the affirmative to an application question asking if they wished to be involved in the future in roles as administrators, coaches and referees in Football. A Grassroots Football course for under-12 year-olds is being run across New Zealand for thousands of children around the tournament, with funding and equipment provided by FIFA. An elite referees course is also being run for New Zealand referees, and a youth coaching course for national youth team coaches, attended by Oceania coaches including New Zealanders. An Observer Programme is being run by FIFA at the tournament, and will be attended by the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2017 hosts, Korea Republic, as well as New Zealand observers nominated by Sport New Zealand and observers nominated by Oceania Football Confederation, plus observers from the Qatar LOC for FIFA World Cup 2022 and possibly the Papua New Guinea LOC for FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2016. Technical Study Groups will be run in each stadium during match days by New Zealand Football, which will assist the development of game analysis and coaching. An NZF representative has also been included in a FIFA Technical Study Group for the tournament.

9. Capability Objective – Developing Oceania skills

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Oceania Football Confederation and the Local Organising Committee formalising arrangements focused on assisting the development of event management skills in Oceania nations. OFC representatives have been provided with roles at the tournament and the two organisations have shared expertise in the lead-up to the event.

10. Capability Objective – Commercial Partnerships

NZ Football’s Beyond Football Plan requires significant financial investment in order to meet the objectives within the plan and achieve success on the international stage to help reposition the game in New Zealand. The increased profile for football and commercial arrangements brought by the tournament will help underline the value of being involved in the game for potential commercial partners and other key stakeholders.

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