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Andrew Ellis on improving youth sport

Video transcript

[Andrew Ellis speaking]

The Balance is Better program really excites me because I'm gonna be able to play part in a movement that has benefits right across the sporting system. So we're going to see more people playing sport, we're going to see more people reaching their potential in sport, and we're going to see, I would think, more product at the top end as well, from a bigger base. So it's a fantastic thing to be a part of. 

I hope to influence those who are making the decisions that are based around our youth and our young people and sports. So I really want to get in there and help influence the mindsets that have possibly take us to a point of where we need to make some change.

Playing multiple sports made me a far better athlete from a mental and physical side of things. So physically I was able to get a wider range of of capabilities physiologically. And mentally being part of so many different environments, and different teams, meeting different people, the different challenges every sport raises, provided me with with the skills to overcome challenges that I would face later on in a professional sporting career. 

I chose to specialize in and just cricket at the age of 20, so I played national league football when I was a twenty-year-old for just a season, the Canterbury United’s. 

The balance is better philosophy fits with me, because I've seen that you do need a wide range of skills, and transferable skills, to not only be successful in sport but be successful in life. 

If I just gone down one pathway with with one narrow set of skills then I wouldn't be able to move out of sport and into possibly the real world with the potential and the opportunities that I have now. 

My message to young people is to enjoy your sport number one, but my message is also to look for the learning opportunities and to love learning when you're there. And that might not be learning a particular skill, that might be learning how to get on with your teammates, or learning how to to communicate with the coach, and skills that will be really essential in whatever walk of life. 

My message to parents is to listen to their kids, and to support their kids, so they need to listen to them and and really understand what is fun for them, because if they're enjoying what they do then they're going to keep doing it and they're going to develop quicker. 

My message to coaches and administrators to keep the athletes and kids/youth at the center of their decision making. Every decision should be measured on a value, and if our value is to keep the athletes at the center, then that needs to play a part is the front and center of every decision be at a board level or operational level. 

If we do that and we achieve that and I'm sure we're going to get outcomes on the ground that are going to have long lasting effects with our participation, development, and also performing.

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