Sport NZ says ensuring Kiwi kids have active, sporty lives will be an important part of a wider initiative announced by the Government today to tackle childhood obesity.
"It's clear that physical activity is an important part of the recipe for healthy, happy young people" says Sport NZ Community Sport General Manager Geoff Barry.
"Kids need to be active every day, at home and at school, and sport and recreation offer great opportunities to do that. We want every young person to enjoy all the physical, mental and social benefits that come from being physically active."
Traditionally, New Zealand's sport and recreation participation numbers have been high for adults and young people. But, Barry says, there are global trends towards inactivity, and New Zealand is not immune from this.
"We're already seeing a drop-off in some age groups. We have to take action now so that we don't follow the rest of the world, and that sport and recreation continue to be an important part of the Kiwi lifestyle."
The wider campaign announced today by Sport and Recreation, and Health, Minister, Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman includes several Sport NZ initiatives which focus on young people in communities where participation is low. Also included is a programme working in school communities to support the increased delivery of quality physical education, sport and physical activity opportunities.
"Being physically active covers a variety of opportunities, from school-based physical education programmes and competitive sport through to informal play and physical activity for fitness and enjoyment," said Barry.
Today's announcement includes:
- the expansion of the Sport in Education approach in secondary schools that puts learning into a sporting context,
- increased investment in Auckland to address the specific needs of targeted low participation communities, and
- the refocus of some existing funding to support low participation communities.
"Sport NZ wants to see young people develop a lifelong love of sport and recreation. By ensuring young people have quality physical activity opportunities to take part in at school, home and in the community we can help make this a reality," said Barry.
These specific initiatives align with Sport NZ's new Community Sport Strategy, released in March, which also focused heavily on young people and low-participation communities.
For more information on the Sport NZ initiatives in the package click here or for further information on all the initiatives in the childhood obesity package visit www.health.govt.nz.