Sport NZ has today released a new strategy and vision to get Every Body Active in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Presented to an audience of all children and young people (tamariki 5 to 11 years and rangatahi 12 to 18 years) at an event in Auckland, the strategy will shape the way Sport NZ invests more than $250 million of government and lotteries funding over the next four years. This includes redefining the space in which Sport NZ operates - from sport and recreation to play, active recreation and sport.
Tamariki and rangatahi are at the heart of the new plans because of the worrying decline in physical activity that occurs during teenage years.
Sport NZ's Active NZ data shows that at 12 to 14 years, 96% have been active in the past seven days with the age group on average taking part for 12 hours per week. By the time they reach 18-24 years, only 73% are active each week and the duration has more than halved to 5.5 hours.
"A number of factors combine to cause this drop-off but the clear story we are telling is that if levels of physical activity continue to decline for our young people, the effects will likely continue in subsequent generations," says Sport NZ Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin.
"Over the next four years our two top priorities are to raise the number of hours each week our tamariki are physically active and to reduce the rate of decline among rangatahi. We're going to tackle this by taking a very tight focus on where we'll seek to improve the quality of offerings available. That focus will be on play and physical education for tamariki, and on active recreation and sport for rangatahi."
The strategy launched today is in two parts: a 12-year strategic direction and the first of three four-year strategic plans. Included in the strategic direction is a new vision for Sport NZ (Every Body Active), a statement of commitment to Te Tiriti O Waitangi and an outcomes framework to connect Sport NZ's work and investment to the Government's Wellbeing Framework.
As well as the short-term focus on tamariki and rangatahi, the four-year strategic plan outlines a significant shift in how Sport NZ will invest for participation outcomes.
"We've learned from our current strategy that the best outcomes are released when you empower local communities to come up with solutions that address their unique situations, and we'll be seeking to work with a wider range of partners to achieve our targeted outcomes," says Mr Miskimmin.
"We will also continue to work hard to realise the commitments outlined in our response to the Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation Strategy which was launched in October 2018, and the commitments that will be outlined in a new Disability Plan that will be launched next month."
Today's announcement follows a recent commitment by Sport NZ and the country's five major participation sports to increase the fun and development focus in youth sport. This in response to declining youth participation rates caused by negative behaviours perpetuated in the youth sport context.
Philip Clark - Group Media Manager, Sport NZ
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