Relay - 3 December 2015

3 December 2015

In this edition: In an age of “shareable, snackable” news, the habits of sports-watchers are changing too. In the Organisation Capacity section, we carry new thinking on how so-called Millennials (the generation aged between 13 and 34 years) are changing how sport is watched, including the growth of the “omnivore fan”. The Young People section looks at injury prevention strategies for young athletes, some of whom are suffering more serious injuries than in the past. Off the Bench looks at talent identification and development, including research that shows genetic testing is not predictive for sporting talent. In Community Sport and Recreation, there’s new thinking on how clubs can support athletes’ mental as well as physical well-being. Burn-out among top coaches features in the High Performance section.

In this Relay

Young People

Why the youth athlete is much more vulnerable to injury – 17 Jul 2015
Over half of school age children participate in at least 3 hours of organised sport each week. For many young athletes it is considerably more. Inevitably, increased involvement in sport results in greater risk of injury. But more worryingly, research indicates the severity of injuries in youth athletes is increasing. (AUT Millennium)

Injuries and adverse events in sports activities: preventive strategies for young athletes – June 2015 (PDF)
Increasing physical activity comes with an increase in injury in a child’s early years. This issue of Elevate Health discusses the importance of injury prevention in young athletes. (President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition)

FIFA, Canadian Soccer Association and Canadian government launch national injury prevention programme – 28 Jul 2015
The Canadian Soccer Association and the Public Health Agency of Canada have announced the launch in Canada of the FIFA 11+, a comprehensive warm-up programme designed to reduce football injuries among youth soccer players. (FIFA)

US high school athletes need more help with mental health issues – 3 Mar 2015
While concussions and physical injuries in high school sports are commanding more attention, young athletes still aren't getting enough help with mental health issues such as depression, bullying, substance abuse, and eating disorders, experts say. (Reuters)

Participation in modified sports programmes: a longitudinal study of children’s transition to club sport participation – 14 Jul 2015 (PDF)
Modified sports programmes are offered to engage children in play activities designed to develop fundamental motor skills and sport-specific skills for future participation. This Australian study identifies trends in modified sport participation, including transition over a 4-year period from modified sports programmes to community-level sports club competitions or sport withdrawal. (Sport and Recreation Spatial)

Early motor skill competence as a mediator of child and adult physical activity – 9 Oct 2015 (PDF)
In order to effectively promote physical activity during childhood and across the lifespan, a better understanding of the role of early motor skill development in children and adults is needed. This US study proposes a conceptual model showing the hypothetical influence of motor skill development on child/adult physical activity and an overview of current research related to the model. (Preventive Medicine Reports)

Fundamental movement skills are more than run, throw and catch: the role of stability skills – 15 Oct 2015 (PDF)
In motor development literature fundamental movement skills are divided into three constructs: locomotive, object control and stability skills. Most fundamental movement skills research has focused on children’s competency in locomotive and object control skills. This Australian study assesses how the stability skills construct fits into a model of fundamental movement skill. (PLOS ONE)

Community Sport and Recreation

More women and girls lacing their boots for rugby – 24 Nov 2015
More girls and women are picking up a rugby ball and running with it, and total player numbers remain strong, according to New Zealand Rugby’s 2015 rugby registration numbers. (

Mood matters: mental health and wellbeing in sport: a pilot educational programme for clubs – August 2015 (PDF)
This document reports on a pilot programme delivered by Sport Northern Ireland to raise awareness of mental health issues. The findings have implications for how sporting bodies and sports coaches might approach designing mental health education in sport. (Sport Northern Ireland)

Play by the Rules – October 2015
This edition of Play by the Rules magazine has a focus on mental health and wellbeing, and provides insight on identifying and dealing with mental health issues within sporting clubs. (Play by the Rules)

Helping players with the stress of injury – 2015
This advice, based on recent US research, provides a range of strategies that coaches can implement to actively help players alleviate the stress caused by sporting injuries. (sports coach UK)

The contribution of sport participation to overall health-enhancing physical activity levels in Australia: a population-based study – 20 Aug 2015 (PDF)
This Australian study examined the contribution of sport to overall health-enhancing leisure-time physical activity in Australian adults and found that club sport participation contributes considerably. (BioMed Central)

Local Sports Partnerships - SPEAK report – 24 Nov 2015 (PDF)
This document reports on the Irish national network of Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs), an initiative of Sport Ireland which aims to increase participation in sport and to ensure that local sport resources are used to best effect. The report provides an evaluation of the operations of 30 LSPs in 2014. (Irish Sports Council)

ukactive’s Blueprint for an Active Britain – 5 Nov 2015 (PDF)
This new report calls for “a single-minded focusing of resources, energy and policy to turn the tide of physical inactivity” in the UK. It sets out clear policy recommendations to help arrest the trend of physical inactivity. (ukactive)

Outdoor Recreation

New Zealand Recreation Association Outdoors Forum 2015 – 17 Nov 2015
Kim Willemse, New Zealand Recreation Association's Outdoor Recreation Project Manager, reports on the Outdoors Forum, which was held in Wellington from 22-23 October. Further Forum information is available. (New Zealand Recreation Association)

Major updates for New Zealand Walking Access Commission’s websites – 2 Oct 2015
The New Zealand Walking Access Commission is launching a redeveloped website and progressing projects to improve its Walking Access Mapping System and ‘Both Sides of the Fence’ education portal. (New Zealand Walking Access Commission)

Great Walk and National Park addition to memorialise 29 Pike miners – 15 Nov 2015
A 45-kilometre Great Walk is to be constructed through the Paparoa National Park and the Park extended by 3,971 hectares to include the Pike River area as a memorial to the 29 men killed in the 2010 mining disaster. (Department of Conservation)

The benefits of enjoying the great Welsh outdoors! – 16 Jun 2015
The Wales Outdoor Recreation Survey (PDF) shows that 93 percent of Welsh adults visited the outdoors at least once in the last 12 months. It looks at how leisure time is spent, and the significant benefits that outdoor recreation brings to the Welsh economy (with £5.6 billion spent on visits to the outdoors), and to health and well-being. (Natural Resources Wales)

English Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE) - 4 Nov 2015(PDF)
This report shows results for the seventh year of the MENE survey which provides data on how people use the natural environment in England. This includes the type of destination, duration, mode of transport, distance travelled, expenditure, main activities and motivations and barriers to visiting. (GOV.UK)

2016 State of the Trails report – November 2015 (PDF)
This US report includes information about Projects of National Significance, which reflects Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s unique ability to bring national support and top-class trail and movement building expertise to local initiatives in support of its vision of a nationwide network of trails and pathways. (Rails-to-Trails Conservancy)

High Performance

Cycling stars line-up for UCI Track World Cup in Cambridge – 25 Nov 2015 (PDF)
Twenty-eight current World or Olympic Champions are winging their way to New Zealand for the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Cambridge. There are 571 riders and staff from 39 countries in attendance for the first world cup in this country, from 4 to 6 December. (UCI Track World Cup)

Coaching success through the Olympic women's leadership programme – 2 Nov 2015
Olympic cyclist Cath Cheatley has graduated with a UCI Coaching Diploma following an intensive four week programme at the World Cycling Centre in Switzerland. One of few female coaches in New Zealand sport, Cheatley is now looking to take a cycling team from development through to an Olympic Games. (NZOC)

Coaching burnout in top-level sport – 28 Oct 2015
According to a new doctoral study, one in four top-level coaches feels a high level of fatigue at the end of the competitive season. (Norwegian School of Sport Sciences)

New Zealand Olympic Committee named World Winner at IOC Women in Sport Awards – 11 Nov 2015
New Zealand has become the first National Olympic Committee to be named World Winner at the International Olympic Committee's annual Women in Sport Awards, recognised for its longstanding efforts in promoting women in sport. (inside the games)

Multi-disciplined surfing event to receive $1.2 million funding – 9 Nov 2015
The Ultimate Waterman, which took the world by storm for the first time in 2015, will return with support from New Zealand Major Events. The Major Events Development Fund will invest up to $1.2 million over three years in this locally-developed surfing event to be contested from 12-20 March, 2016 in Auckland and throughout New Zealand. (Surfing NZ)

Canoe slalom, Future Arena and golf course... three more Rio 2016 venues ready – 18 Nov 2015
Three more venues for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games are ready. The Rio city government, which is managing the construction of new venues, announced that work on the Future Arena, the Olympic golf course and the canoe slalom course are 100 percent complete. (Rio 2016)

FIFA tournaments deliver big economic boost in Canada – 5 Nov 2015
Canada Soccer has announced that the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 and the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2014 supported an impressive CAD $493.6 million in economic activity for Canada, exceeding preliminary projections made in February 2014 by 46 percent. (FIFA)

Organisational Capability

Media metrics identifies the rise of the ‘omnivore fan’ – 25 Nov 2015
A new breed of sport fans, described as “omnivore fans”, is changing the demographic and cultural profiles of the followers of Australian football codes according to recently released new report on cross-code football support. The Football Trends and Insights report (PDF) shows increasing cross-code support and a group of consumers who are connected, confident, and often adventurous in the sports that they follow, which has implications for brand advertising strategies. (Australasian Leisure Management)

NZME teams up with NSOs for comprehensive coverage – 25 Nov 2015
New Zealand Media and Entertainment has signed with a collective of eight National Sporting Organisations to be a media content provider, dedicated to delivering engaging sport content in New Zealand. (NZ Herald)

How do millennials consume sports content? – 22 Jan 2015 (VIDEO 4 minutes)
Whistle Sports Network is a media company that focuses on providing sports content for millennials from over 300 YouTube channels. Founder and chief executive John West discusses the company’s sports programming focus on millennials. (Bloomberg)

Why this study on millennial sports video habits should worry ESPN – 16 Nov 2015
Whistle Sports Network’s recent study about millennials’ preferences for sports video is a telling look at what might change in the next few years. The study found that young people are as compelled by YouTube celebrities as they are by anyone on traditional television. For sports content, they are more used to seeking out videos from these influencers on YouTube and Facebook than from ESPN. (Fortune)

How millennials are changing the game of sports – 22 Sep 2015
This article discusses the unprecedented growth of online viewing of non-traditional sports and argues that it opens the door for brands (and major sports leagues) to engage an elusive younger viewer who is mobile and social savvy and looking for something new. (Huff Post sports)

Atlanta Hawks – how marketing to millennials can turn things around! – 16 Nov 2015
The Atlanta Hawks have done an excellent job at changing their image while becoming more engaged with social media. Once again, they are speaking the language of their target group, the millennials. (Overtime)

Conceptualising consumption behaviours of rugby fans in New Zealand: understanding consumption behaviours of rugby fans and the impact on sport consumption – 2015 (PDF)
While there is an abundance of research available on consumption behaviours and fan behaviours there is a limited amount specifically about rugby fans in New Zealand. This New Zealand thesis aims to add knowledge and insight on these types of sports fans, and to understand the prominent factors that influence consumption behaviours of rugby fans. (Unitec)

Sports Science and Technology

Mouthguard design eases detection of concussion – 9 Nov 2015
Rugby may be over for another season but Massey University industrial design student Spencer Buchanan believes he has created a device that makes it easier to identify and manage concussions in the sport. (Massey University)

What athletes see – 18 Nov 2015
In the past few years, a small group of neuroscientists have identified a new way of understanding coordination, one that focuses on visual and cognitive skills over physical prowess. The concept is known as the quiet-eye theory. (The Atlantic)

3D-multiple object tracking training task improves passing decision-making accuracy in soccer players – 16 Jun 2015 (PDF)
The ability to perform a context-free 3-dimensional multiple object tracking (3D-MOT) task has been highly related to athletic performance. This Canadian study assessed the transferability of perceptual-cognitive 3D-MOT training from a laboratory setting to a soccer field, a sport in which the capacity to correctly read the dynamic visual scene is a prerequisite to performance. (Psychology of Sport and Exercise)

New Balance working with 3D printing company to develop high performance running shoes – 24 Nov 2015
The New Balance shoe company recently announced that it has teamed up with 3D Systems to develop a high performance running shoe with a 3D printed midsole, which allows each shoe to be customised for each runner at an entirely new level of detail. (SportTechie)

Performance in sports – with specific emphasis on the effect of intensified training – 19 Nov 2015 (PDF)
This Danish article focuses on what limits performance and how training can be conducted to improve performance. Specifically, how intensified training, affects physiological adaptations and the performance of trained subjects. (Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports)

Smart baseball and softball training bat provides real-time data, analytics with each swing – 17 Nov 2015
SmartBAT is a baseball and softball training bat that transmits real-time data, swing speed and contact analytics to an accompanying synced app on a smartphone to help baseball and softball players improve troubled areas of their games. (TECHTIMES)

New wearable tech launched to improve athletic performance – 17 Nov 2015
Precision-SSS’s wearable Electronic Performance and Tracking System technology was created at the European Space Agency with aims to improve athletic performance. Athletes are continually pushed to their limit of physical capacity and this technology enables users to continue to do so without the risk of injuries. (Sport Industry Group)

Off the Bench: Talent Identification and Development

No genetic testing for sporting talent – 19 Nov 2015
Victoria University researcher Nir Eynon was part of an international panel of experts who have dismissed claims that current genetic testing of children can identify sporting prowess and ability. Writing in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (PDF), the group found a lack of scientific evidence that current genetic testing can identify young athletes for sporting talent. (Victoria University, Melbourne)

Eye test to spot future sports stars – 9 Sep 2015
English researchers are looking for the link between visual processing and sporting performance. Their research could lead to a lab-based test that finds hidden talent and the cricket stars of tomorrow. It could also help elite sports teams to place individuals into their optimum roles within the team, or plan specific vision training to improve performance. (BBC)

Searching for talent: the construction of legitimate selection in sports – October 2015 (PDF)
This article analyses talent selection within Swedish sports. Particular attention is paid to the ways in which this process of legitimacy is produced in the case of children and adolescents. (Scandinavian Sport Studies Forum)

Talk less. Listen more. The importance of family support in athlete development – 1 Sep 2015
New research shows that parents, siblings and other family members play a critical role in the development of young sporting talent. (AUT Millennium)

Inside Australia’s basketball talent factory – 31 Oct 2015
This article explores the talent development programme at Canberra’s Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence which is responsible for Australia’s booming basketball success. (theguadian)

Long-term athletic development: a pathway for all youth – 11 May 2015
This British-US commentary reviews existing models of practice for long-term athletic development and introduces a composite youth development model that includes the integration of talent, psycho-social and physical development across maturation. (ResearchGate)

Is it time to think again about early specialisation in sport? – September 2015 (PDF)
Written by a senior researcher in sports science and physical education, this article asks whether early specialisation and intensive training in one sport is necessary for sporting success, and whether it is in the best interest of the children themselves. (Aspetar Sports Medicine Journal)

Specialisation: what does it really mean? – 25 May 2015
This Canadian article defines sport specialisation and offers advice for parents about encouraging physical literacy and sport sampling. (Active for Life)

Sport England launches Backing the Best with SportsAid – 10 Nov 2015
Sport England has announced a ground-breaking new initiative with SportsAid to help talented young athletes facing the greatest financial pressure. (SportsAid)

Useful Weblinks

NRL State of Mind site
The aim of this campaign is to reduce stigma around mental illness, create positive discussion and connection in communities, and stimulate help-seeking behaviours by improving mental health literacy. The site contains tips, self-assessment tools and other resources.

Behind the Sport podcasts
This site has weekly guests who work in the sport and recreation industry and who can share their current challenges, success and future plans. The podcast provides an insight into how sports operate and is targeted towards other sport administrators.

Please note, Relay intends to include a broad range of opinions. Not all of these are supported or endorsed by Sport NZ or reflective of Sport NZ policy. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented here, but we are not responsible for the content of external websites.