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More New Zealand children participate in school sport

More New Zealand children participate in school sport
March 12, 2015

The latest New Zealand Secondary Schools Sports Council (NZSSSC) School Sport Census shows a continuation of the trend of recent years with 54% of students representing their school in sport in 2014, up 1% from the previous year.

Welcoming the results, NZSSSC Executive Director Garry Carnachan stated “while 1% seems a small increment, it actually represents more than 3,000 extra students representing their school in sport since the previous year, and, since 2010 when the declining trend was reversed, the 3% increase equates to almost 10,000 additional students pulling on their school colours.”

Another pleasing outcome from the 2014 figures was that, for the first time since 2000, the numbers of teachers supporting school sport through coaching, managing or officiating had increased.

After more than 15 years in slow decline, 35% of teachers provided leadership for school sport last year, up 2% on the 2013 figure.

Commenting on this development, Carnachan stated “we know student participation is closely linked to teacher support so to see more teachers involved is very encouraging.

“With international research and the results of the SportNZ Sport in Education project showing a strong connection between sporting participation and improved student achievement and engagement in school, including attendance and behaviour, it is exciting to perhaps see more teachers now recognising the benefits of getting involved with their students in school sport.”

Traditional sports continue to be strong in New Zealand’s schools with netball and rugby each attracting around 30,000 students and remaining stable in terms of numbers over recent years.

Football, basketball, volleyball, touch, hockey, athletics, badminton and cricket round out the top 10 in terms of numbers of students involved.

Carnachan added “the traditional school sports remain very important to schools and students.

“However the changing nature of sport with so many choices now available to young people is reflected by sports such as adventure racing, futsal, mountain biking and orienteering all showing growth of more than 20% over the last five years.”

The NZSSSC census data is very useful in informing school sport planning and change for both sporting bodies and schools with schools strongly encouraged to analyse trends over recent years in their own census data to best meet the needs of their students.

Click here to view summary tables and charts showing topline national and regional census results on the NZSSSC website. 

Images courtesy of NZSSSC.



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