3rd July 2019

Tribunal upholds appeal against removal from NZ Cadet table tennis team for Oceania Junior Championships

The Sports Tribunal has upheld an appeal by KL (a minor) against Table Tennis New Zealand’s (TTNZ) decision to remove her from the NZ Cadet (U15) Girls’ Team to go to the Oceania Junior Championships in Tonga in August 2019. The Tribunal has ordered that the Appellant be restored to the team.

TTNZ confirmed the Appellant’s selection for the NZ Cadet (U15) Girls’ Team to compete at the Oceania Junior Championships on 14 February 2019. The Appellant was advised that a $500 deposit was required “to secure a team place”, to be paid by 8 March 2019, along with the completion of administrative documents. The deposit was to be used to contribute towards the costs of two team coaches who would be attending the tournament.

In early March, the Appellant’s grandmother advised TTNZ they did not want to contribute towards the costs of one of the coaches as they felt she had unfairly upset the Appellant during an incident in 2017. TTNZ said a misconduct hearing could be held if a formal complaint was made, however it would not be possible to complete this process prior to the deadline for payment of the deposit, which TTNZ had extended to 11 March. TTNZ re-iterated that if the deposit was not paid before the required date, the Appellant would be replaced in the team.

On 19 March 2019, TTNZ informed the Appellant she had been removed from the team for failing to pay the $500 deposit and complete the required documentation and that a replacement player would be selected. The Appellant appealed this decision on the basis that TTNZ did not act fairly or reasonably in removing her from the NZ Cadet (U15) Girls’ Team as this was not a term of the agreement under which the Appellant was selected in the team. The Tribunal concluded that TTNZ acted unreasonably in removing the Appellant from the team and failed to explore other solutions, including a suggestion by the TTNZ High Performance Convenor in February to meet with all parties to seek a resolution.

• This media release was published by the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand (STNZ) on 3 July 2019. Click here for the original, and click here for the full decision.

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