02 December 2016

Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman has welcomed the release of a discussion document that focuses on supporting older people to stay active.

Sport New Zealand, in conjunction with Sport BOP, has developed the discussion document - Active Older People - to start a conversation within the sector on how to meet the needs and aspirations of older people in relation to their participation in community sport and active recreation.

"If we want New Zealanders to remain active in their later years we have to ensure we're offering them the right opportunities," says Dr Coleman.

"Being physically active has many benefits for older people including enhanced social integration, reduced health and social care costs, prevention of injury such as falls and enhanced productivity.

"The discussion document will help to support those who deliver sport and active recreation at a community level, and also organisations that work specifically with older people."

Sport NZ's most recent national participation survey (Active NZ 2013/14) found that more than three-quarters of New Zealanders aged 65 to 74 years take part in one or more sport or recreation activity each week.

Community Sport General Manager Geoff Barry says one of the key aspects of Sport NZ's approach to keeping Kiwis active is its Physical Literacy Approach, and it is this philosophy that lies behind the development of Active Older People.

"Being physically literate is about the motivation, confidence and physical competence to be active at any stage of life. It's important people retain this as they age, and Sport NZ wants to help older New Zealanders do that," he says.

Research for the discussion document involved focus groups and in-depth interviews with older New Zealanders.

Click here to read the Minister's media release.

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