This Active NZ COVID-19 survey report focuses on changing participation throughout the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic from April 2020 through to April 2021, when New Zealand was in its first nationwide lockdown at Alert Level 1.
It shows changes in the key participation statistics by drawing on data collected from the:
- Main Active NZ survey before the COVID-19 pandemic. By combining April 2017, April 2018, and April 2019 we created a baseline for a ‘typical April’ from 1,565 young people.
- April 2020 Active NZ re-contact survey between 16 April and 28 April from 2,417 young people to provide a participation picture during the country’s first nationwide lockdown.
- April 2021 Active NZ re-contact survey between 6 April and 22 April from 531 young people - one year on from the first nationwide lockdown.
What the key participation statistics say
- April 2021 saw a return to typical April levels on all key participation statistics except for the average number of sports and activities.
- The average number of sports and activities young people took part in was consistently lower throughout the first year of the pandemic, compared with equivalent pre-pandemic months across all four measurement phases: April 2020, June 2020, September 2021, and April 2021.
Key demographic differences
- The picture is different for rangatahi and tamariki because the pandemic has had a more negative effect on rangatahi than tamariki.
- In April 2021, weekly participation, time spent, and average number of sports and activities returned to pre-pandemic levels for tamariki. Tamariki also spent more time in organised participation, compared with pre-pandemic levels.
- Although weekly participation returned to pre-pandemic levels for rangatahi, the average number of sports and activities and time spent participating remained lower than pre-pandemic. Rangatahi spent less time in informal participation, compared with pre-pandemic levels.
- The increase in time spent in informal participation during the country’s first nationwide lockdown in April 2020 was not sustained throughout the first year of the pandemic.
- Organised participation was slower to recover, with less time spent in organised participation continuing into September 2020, followed by recovery in April 2021 and a return to pre-pandemic levels.