Growing up in a rural area, Deryck Shaw was an avid sportsman. He participated in quite a few different sports including hockey, rugby, rugby league, badminton, running, volleyball, and squash. But as his career unfolded and his family grew, Deryck developed a new passion… football.
While he played football at university, his involvement really started when his kids were growing up. Both Deryck and his wife Sally wanted their kids to play a team game to help develop team skills that are important growing up and later in life as well as keep them fit and active.
“In the teams that our kids played in, you’re interacting with quite a diverse community and learning to work with people who have different cultural backgrounds which has been really helpful for their development as younger adults.”
“And look, some of the people they played with were very good players, some were average players, a real mix. It was as much about their engagement and social development as it was about the sport.”
As Deryck’s kids got more involved with football, naturally so did Deryck. Coaching, refereeing and administration, and then getting involved with running one of the local junior clubs.
“We probably spent about 20 years going down on Saturday morning with the three boys supporting, refereeing, coaching, organising and just being involved”
After his involvement in the junior club Central United, Deryck got involved with Rotorua United. As part of this the club formed a combined brand, Geyser Football with the other local senior club Ngongotaha to enable both clubs to put youth teams into the Tier 1 WaiBOP competitions.
This led to him getting more involved across the Federation and he then was elected to the WaiBOP Football Federation Board. He served around 6 years on the Board before joining New Zealand Football’s Board in 2014, which he led until October 2018. Deryck also took key leadership roles in Oceania Football serving on their Board and on the FIFA Stakeholders Committee.
Speaking on the recent development of the game in New Zealand, Deryck believes that the sport is still underdeveloped and has some way to go to make it part of the wider New Zealand culture.
“If you look at the resources that go into football compared to other sports like cricket and rugby it’s very different, and yet football is still up near the top in terms of participation and its global reach.
“Recently there has been more profile of the game thanks to having more players from New Zealand playing in the top leagues around the world, but I believe that it’s important for everyone to understand that as people pass through the grades that not everybody is going to be Chris Wood or Amber Hearn, or Sarpreet Sing or Ali Riley or Ryan Nelson or Steve Sumner.”
“And that’s ok. It is important that there is always a pathway for those who just want to enjoy playing on the weekend in an outdoor setting with their mates or through futsal in shorter format games. Sometimes we lose that mindset.”
“The beauty of football is that virtually anyone can play, no matter their background or ability.”
Deryck believes that football has many benefits beyond just simply playing the game.
“In terms of your physical health, mental health, community participation etc., football is a great tool especially in the grassroots of the game to enable people to be active in their communities”
The New Zealand Football Foundation represents the values of encouraging and supporting people to live healthy and active lives by giving everyone access to football with an emphasis on access and enjoyment at all levels. A sentiment that Deryck aligns with.
“I think the biggest benefit of working with the Foundation is having the opportunity to contribute to the health of our communities and to enable people to realise their potential.”
“The Foundation aligns with a lot of people’s values around good health, positive and active communities, and encouraging people who may be disadvantaged to get out give football a go. And I love that I’m a part of that.” “I believe these are the values that underpin our game. Football is a beautiful game, and it’s a game for everyone.”
Every team needs supporters. At the New Zealand Football Foundation we are so grateful for our partners who believe in Football For Good just as much as we do. They know the power of sport to make real change in society and they are committed to helping us do the māhi to support our communities. The generosity of our partners is crucial to enable us to support so many worthy projects.