Retiring Otago Secondary Schools Sports Association
regional director Des Smith (centre) is flanked by
wellwishers (from left) Jane Johnson (Logan Park High
School), Clive Rennie (Otago Boys' High Sschool), Nicki
Paterson (incoming OSSSA director), Smith's wife Raylene,
Dougal McGowan (Otago Boys' HS), Julie Anderson (Queen's
High School) at his farewell function at the OUSA Aquatic
Centre last night. Photo by Jane Dawber.
The establishment of sports councils in Otago secondary
schools was one of the highlights of Des Smith's time as
regional director of the Otago Secondary Schools Sports
Smith, who lifted the profile of Otago secondary school sport
in the six years he was in the job, was farewelled at the
Otago University Students Association Aquatic Centre last
He told the 130 people at the farewell that the concept of
having sports councils in schools had caught on since he
started his new job as operations manager for the New Zealand
Secondary Schools Sports Council in early September.
"The sports council concept has continued to evolve and it is
pleasing to see that they are popping up all over the
country," Smith said.
"Part of my new role is to grow that concept. Not a week goes
by without getting a contact from someone wanting to set up a
Since Smith became regional director in Otago, participation
by pupils in secondary school sport increased from 6200 to
6900. This has reversed the trend in other parts of the
country where pupil participation in sport has declined.
There are 23 secondary schools in Otago, and 16 principals
and sports co-ordinators have moved on since Smith started
the job in 2006.
"All the principals and sports co-ordinators have been
Smith said. "They encourage the development of secondary
school sport because it gives balance to pupils' lives."
Four people have been members of the management committee of
the OSSSA since Smith started the job in 2006.
Smith paid tribute to the support he was given by chairman
Mike Corkery (John McGlashan College), Clive Rennie and
Dougal McGowan (Otago Boys' High School) and Julie Anderson
(Queen's High School). Jane Johnson, of Logan Park High
School, had also made a significant contribution since
joining the management committee.
Smith also made a special tribute to Don McLachlan, who was
rector of Otago Boys' when he joined the staff in 1968.
"Don had a big influence on my career," Smith said.
"He was passionate about secondary school sport and gave
support to staff who coached school teams."
Smith was asked by the Dunedin City Council to help plan the
development of sports facilities at Logan Park.
"I took that on with the support of the board because the
enhanced facilities would benefit secondary schools," Smith
"That was challenging but also rewarding because we have made
significant progress in the facilities that have been
provided for sport."
Smith appreciated the support given him by the Otago
Polytechnic's Institute of Sport and Adventure, and Sport
Among the more than 130 people who attended the farewell to
pay a tribute to Smith were his wife, Raylene, children
Chris, Michael and Nicky and seven grandchildren.