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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 9 (December 1, 1938)


Visiting sportsmen have often remarked at the lack of sporting facilities in New Zealand — not to be confused with tennis courts, or race-tracks—and have told us of the marvellous Los Angeles Athletic Club, and of the New York Athletic Club. These massive buildings contain indoor tennis courts, swimming pools, boxing, wrestling and tumbling gymnasia, dance-floors, indoor athletic training tracks, and almost every sporting facility that could be desired.

New Zealand, unfortunately, has little of these splendours. I almost wrote “luxuries” instead of “splendours,” but, after all, they are not luxuries. To provide ample recreational facilities is a worthy ideal, and one giving sportsmen in Wellington a considerable amount of thought.

After many years of often-times bitter wrangling and dissention between the administrators of sport, there has arisen a much better feeling and, at last, there seems to be definite signs of co-operation. All summer field sports bodies are to stage at least one sports fixture in aid of a recreation fund, the Wellington City Council to use the proceeds toward making available more play areas.

On top of this decision, comes the Wellington Swimming Centre's appeal for a tepid swimming bath. Wellington, the Capital City of New Zealand, does not possess one swimming bath worthy of the name, and during the Centennial Exhibition, will have to stage the national swimming championships at Lower Hutt, ten miles away. In past years, the Wellington swimming body has had little support, practical or otherwise, from other sports bodies, but this year there has been a rallying round from other associations. A suggestion has been made that Wellington should form a “Federation of Amateur Sports,” with the view to securing something on the lines of the New York and Los Angeles Clubs. It is not suggested that such ornate buildings should be erected, but it is felt, and rightly so, I think, that the assembling of all sports bodies in one main building, with its modern equipment, will assist in furthering the causes of all branches of sport. Although the suggestion has not yet been tested out, there are indications that something of a concrete nature will be announced at an early date.