Programme of the Year Report


August 28, 2017

The NZFMA is calling for entries for its Programme of the Year category as part of its 2016 annual awards. The category is open to all New Zealand clubs and federations and covers the 2016 calendar year.

Since 2000, the winners of the Programme of the Year category have included WaiBOP United, Napier City Rovers, Cambridge, Lower Hutt City, Island Bay United, Petone and the Otago FA. Last year’s winners were Waitemata, with Ellerslie and Papatoetoe highly commended.

The judge had this to say regarding the 2015 entries: “It was great to see entries from as far afield as Christchurch United, and as unheralded a club as Otorohanga, among those submitted by the usual suspects. A couple of clubs go beyond producing the humble match day programme, and for this, praise must be afforded Cambridge – whose commemorative publication to mark the greatest year in the club’s history is quite outstanding – and Petone, who go the whole nine yards to contribute to their community via a calendar and regular newsletters to past and present club members.

“But it is one of the key communication organs of any club which is under the microscope where this award is concerned, and the standard this year was impressive. After initial assessments, there were seven solid contenders for the Best Programme crown, with shortcomings in the areas of colour and/or content and/or pictures the main downfall of the rest. Ellerslie, Ngaruawahia, Oratia, Papatoetoe, Stop Out, WaiBOP United and Waitemata were the clubs which advanced to the final stages.

“Each club’s effort had at least one outstanding feature – Ryan Kerr-Bell’s column in the ‘Narra’ programme, for instance, is a great read, while the variety of tales to read in ‘The Range’, WaiBOP’s submission, was a major plus. The acknowledgement of life members and elements of the club’s history (Stop Out), player profiles (Oratia), and some outstanding Anzac Day covers – Ngaruawahia and Oratia, take a bow – were standouts in these clubs’ entries.

“However, these were offset to some extent by a combination of the relatively small size of the programme – 16 pages or less of informative content – and nothing on the opposition other than a squad list. Plus, in one entry, a glaring spelling error in a column heading which wasn’t amended in subsequent issues. Small details matter.

“Thus we came down to three entries vying for the Programme of the Year title which ticked the vast majority – if not all – of the boxes which, for this judge, are prerequisites for a top quality programme, among them variety and quality of contributions, use of colour and photography, acknowledgement of the opposition via more than just a team list, and team listings on one highly accessible page.

“As well, aspects such as a contents page, a menu listing, a quiz page and eye-catching covers make a difference, and when someone has gone to great lengths to produce a programme spanning to, in one instance, 64 pages in size, that ‘keep’ factor cannot be ignored.

“The Most Improved Programme honour goes to Ellerslie, whose excellent use of colour and white space, and variety of reports and photos helped make ‘The Ave’ a really good read.

“The top two were even harder to separate this year compared to last. For a programme which largely covers just the one team, Papatoetoe Ladies’ effort is a really rock-solid effort, rich in colour, content, pictures and variety. As last year, Highly Recommended.

“It’s the small details which make the difference, however, and in that regard, the standard bearers of 2014 again have no equal. From retro covers to player profiles, history features to a minimum three-page look at the opposition, and all points in between, Waitemata’s publication really is top drawer stuff. The layout is eye-catching, and the planning, effort and imagination that has gone into making each edition of their programme a unique keepsake of the occasion makes Waitemata worthy winners of the Programme of the Year award once again.”


Enzo Giordani,

NZFMA awards convenor.