This Strategic Plan covers all areas of the Sport NZ Group’s work – young people, adults and elite athletes. The Sport NZ Group (the Group) – comprises Sport NZ and its wholly-owned subsidiary High Performance Sport NZ.
While New Zealand has traditionally had high sports participation rates for adults and young people, there are emerging trends which we will have to address if we are to maintain these. Things are changing and we can’t assume we will always be a sporty, active nation. Young people have increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Urbanisation and other societal trends are changing the way Kiwis participate. Technology is changing the way people interact with each other and people are fitting sport into increasingly busy lives. These are challenges for everyone in the sports sector, and we have to work hard if we are to preserve our sporting heritage
The new Strategic Plan responds to these challenges, focusing on four key areas – young people; strengthening the local delivery of sport, especially in low participation communities; ensuring our traditional sports pathways remain strong; and continuing to drive high performance outcomes through the great work of High Performance Sport NZ (HPSNZ).
Over the last five years, Sport NZ has re-focused its sport development goals and investment to place new emphasis on coordination, leadership and tangible outcomes in community sport delivered by schools, clubs and events. Since our first Community Sport Strategy in 2009 we’ve made had some significant achievements and learnt much about the opportunities and challenges of community sport and the role of different stakeholders in delivering sporting opportunities to New Zealanders, including its own role in leading change.
Sport NZ’s 2015-2020 Community Sport Strategy reflects the evolution of community sport, looking at how our focus has changed since the introduction of the first strategy.
There’s a unique opportunity for change in community sport to deliver a participant centred, world-leading community sports system that enriches lives and ultimately increases sport participation amongst New Zealanders.
As such, we have placed participants at the centre of our new strategy. Their voice will guide our thinking and decision-making, and in understanding their attitudes, what motivates them and the barriers they face we can support the sport system to respond to their needs and expectations.
The delivery of community sport works well in some parts of the country, and not as well in others, so we need to focus on both sustaining our current high participation rates and growing participation in segments of the population where greater barriers exist or participation is low.
Although the strategy signals a new approach we will continue to pay close attention to children and young people, and to work with our partners to sustain and grow traditional sport structures and pathways – the backbone of our world-leading system.
This strategy is the culmination of five years of learning, new evidence and scanning good practice at home and abroad. Sport NZ aims to sustain the positive momentum that has been created and lead the New Zealand sports sector in taking the next step in the evolution of community sport.
Q and A
What is the vision of the Sport NZ Group Strategic Plan 2015-20?
The Strategic Plan states a clear, compelling vision for the future – for New Zealand to be the world’s most successful sporting nation. This means not only sustaining what we currently have in terms of participation and high performance success, but delivering bigger, better outcomes for sport and for the country. To do this, we need to ensure we have a world-leading sport system.
What challenges does our sport system face?
New Zealand has high rates of participation in sport and recreation by both young people and adults, and an enviable record of winning on the world stage. It all stems from the way sport is ingrained in our culture and the sporty childhood enjoyed by Kiwi kids.
But the sporting heritage generations of Kiwis have been fortunate to inherit is under threat from societal changes and global trends towards inactivity. The face of New Zealand is changing. The way people want to engage in sport is changing. And winning on the world stage is getting harder and more expensive. We believe if we don’t act now, our sporting culture, and all of the benefits it provides to New Zealand and New Zealanders, could be lost.
What is different from the last strategy?
This Strategic Plan still focuses on getting more Kiwis, especially kids, into sport, and producing more winners on the world stage. But we’re making changes to the way we do it. We recognise that we need to meet the changing needs of participants, so we will focus on demand – what today’s participants want – rather than what the sport system has traditionally supplied. And we will prioritise our work around the areas of the sport system that can best impact participation and winning.
We also now have an over-arching Strategic Plan which covers all areas of the Sport NZ Group’s work – young people, adults and elite athletes – and within that a High Performance Strategy 2013-20 (led by High Performance Sport NZ) and a Community Sport Strategy 2015-20. These two ‘delivery arms’ of the business will be supported by a Group Strategic Support team which will lead areas including support for major and mega events, facility planning, investment and development, improving sector capability and cross-government sport integrity work.
What are the focus areas?
There are four focus areas:
- Young people – ensuring all Kiwi kids gain a love of physical activity and sport at an early age, from which they are more likely to enjoy lifelong participation in sport and gain all the benefits that come with it.
- Local delivery of sport, especially in low-participation communities – ensuring clubs, councils, schools, families and all those involved in the local delivery of sport working more closely together.
- Competitive sport – ensuring the traditional structures of sport are strong to sustain and grow participation.
- Continuing to drive high performance outcomes and achieve more winning on the world stage, through High Performance Sport NZ.