Barry Maister was honoured for 40 years of service on April 15
New Zealand’s International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Barry Maister was honoured on 15 April at the annual New Zealand Sport and Recreational Awards in Christchurch after 40 years of service in the sports world. Maister was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by Sport New Zealand after beginning his life as a hockey player and amassing 86 international caps through a career that included three Olympic Games.
The hockey gene didn’t fall far from the tree as Maister’s grandfather, Havilah Down, was a hockey icon in New Zealand for most of the 20th century. Barry’s father, Gerald, was also a test goalkeeper in the early 1960’s for New Zealand, while his two brothers, Selwyn and Chris, were also teammates on the New Zealand squad.
At the 1976 Montreal Olympics the Maister’s, led by coach Ross Gillespie, helped New Zealand upset Australia 1-0 to win the gold medal, which was icing on the cake after a narrow 1-0 win over Spain to move past the semi-final round.
Following his playing career Barry remained heavily involved in the New Zealand junior academy and the junior national program and had a career for nearly 30 years as a teacher. After resigning in 2000, Barry moved to Wellington and became secretary-general of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, working hard to bring cohesion amongst the country’s major sport bodies. In 2010, Barry stepped down after a 10-year reign of the Olympic Committee, only to become the IOC representative in New Zealand. Soon after he was appointed to its Entourage Commission.
Among various other roles, Maister is also a vice-president of the Oceania National Olympic Committees, sits on the Executive Board of the Association of National Olympic Committees, and is director of the 2017 World Masters Games to be held in Auckland.
Although insisting that, despite receiving a lifetime achievement award, he has a long way to go yet, Maister revealed pride and satisfaction in his long career.
"Sport and education is the most powerful possible mix in terms of positively influencing young lives, and I am proud to have contributed to many youngsters through both these avenues, over the past 40 years
"To be able to continue to contribute through IOC membership, and to be constantly reminded of the real meaning and purpose of the Olympic movement, is a priviledge, and an honour."