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What is the Balance is Better Philosophy
Most New Zealanders are involved in sport in one way or another and whether you are a participant, spectator, volunteer, coach or administrator, you will enjoy the enormous benefits it brings.

A major focus for Sport NZ is ensuring young people develop a lifelong love of sport and recreation and continue participation into their adult years. Research shows that teenage participation in sport is declining for multiple reasons, including the professionalism of sport at all levels from an increasingly younger age. 

Utilising best practice, sector evidence and wide consultation, Sport NZ released the Balance is Better philosophy in 2016Since then, Balance is Better has become a broader conversation underpinning Sport NZ's overall approach to youth sport. The philosophy is about supporting quality sport experiences for all young people, regardless of ability, needs and motivations. It is about young people staying involved in sport for life and realising their potential at the right time.

Below you can find out more about Balance is Better, browse our research and case studies, and link to theBalance is Better website - the home of youth sport in New Zealand.

About Balance Is Better - the download
Soccer father sports chaperone
What is this page for?
Supporting change through your own Balance is Better story

This page pulls together key resources into one place to help you understand Balance is Better and think about how you can make a difference to youth sport. Whether you’re an administrator, coach, parent or sport leader, these resources (from evidence, case studies and videos) will help you to create your own Balance is Better story in your areas.

Balance is Better Principles gif
Balance is Better
The Nine Principles
  1. Safe, fair and inclusive
  2. Quality experiences, regardless of ability or motivations
  3. Bold and courageous leadership
  4. Working together
  5. Collective attitudinal change
  6. Skill development for all
  7. Encourage variety
  8. Talent ID occurs later
  9. Balance getting better with doing too much
Les Elder running with a ball during a game
Balance is Better Champions

The Balance is Better Champions programme aims to build further awareness and understanding of the Balance is Better philosophy, helping create positive change in youth sport.


If you require an accessible version of any content on the site please contact us at and we will be happy to assist.

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