[Edit: This event was held on March 10 2020, prior to the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We look forward to working with Sharon, Liz and NZOC in the leadup to the Olympics, now scheduled to begin on July 23, 2021.]
On 10th March 2020, the ANZCCJ Sports for Business Committee (SFB) hosted members of the New Zealand Olympic Committee for a Briefing on their Tokyo 2020 Programme. This event was held via a Zoom teleconference so that members could join in remotely - a meeting format that is becoming more and more common for us all amid the current COVID-19 precautions.
SFB Vice-Chair Ryann Thomas welcomed Sharon van Gulik, New Zealand Olympic Committee’s Commercial Director, and Liz Fitzgerald, the Events & Brand Activation Manager, who presented an update on the New Zealand Team’s preparations, the programme for New Zealand House, volunteer opportunities, and the current impact of COVID-19 on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
As NZ athletes continue to qualify for the games, the NZ Olympic Committee have put a lot of thought into further integrating New Zealand Maori culture into the NZ team, with extensive use of Te Reo (Maori language) and a new Haka to be performed for the first time by both male and female athletes. This year will also mark 100 years since the famous Silver Fern symbol became a key part of the New Zealand Team identity, and will continue to be worn with pride by the Tokyo 2020 competing athletes.
In regards to concerns surrounding COVID-19, although some changes have had to be made to qualifying events around the world, the message from the New Zealand Olympic Committee and IOC is clear – the Games are going ahead! While every measure will be in place to ensure the health and safety of athletes and supporters, event organisers and national committees are continuing to move forward and actively prepare for an exciting summer tournament in Tokyo.
During the Games, the NZ Olympic Committee is focused on providing Manaaki, New Zealand hospitality, through the New Zealand House in Daikanyama – a “mini Aotearoa” for supporters to gather and watch New Zealand athletes compete via live broadcast from Sky. With up to 16 screens throughout the venue, all NZ participating events are sure to be covered, in addition to the other major events during the competition period. Entry will be free to all, with New Zealand food and beverages provided at accessible prices. After the official merchandise store opens its doors on July 9th, there will be a soft opening of the house on July 21st ahead of the official opening on July 25th. Stay tuned for more information, and be sure to follow the New Zealand Olympic Committee on Facebook (where they are the most followed Olympic Team in the world!) https://www.facebook.com/nzolympicteam
Finally, the New Zealand Team is looking for volunteers to support their 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games programme. These volunteer roles are critical to ensuring the New Zealand Team is able to deliver an outstanding Olympic Games campaign and programme for the athletes, partners, whanau (family) and supporters. They are looking for volunteers for either pre games, or during Games – or both. All New Zealand Team Volunteers will be provided with official team kit to wear, a Suica card for transport to and from venues, meals and tickets to at least one Olympic Games event. If you would like to be considered for one of the volunteer roles, you can find the application form here. Applications close on Friday, 20 March 2020. If you have any questions please contact Liz Fitzgerald on firstname.lastname@example.org, or Sharon van Gulik on email@example.com .
We would like to thank Sharon and Liz for sharing this briefing with the Sports for Business Committee, and look forward to supporting the New Zealand Team in the lead up to Tokyo 2020. Please feel free to contact Sharon and Liz directly with any questions, or email the ANZCCJ Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.