Regional Good Sports Collective Combats Negative Side-line Behaviour

3 June 2022
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Providing positive sporting experiences for children and young people begins with supporting the education of key adult influencers, particularly parents.

Good Sports is as culture change initiative, initially designed by Aktive (Auckland Sport and Recreation), which aims to support adults to ensure that tamariki and rangatahi have the best chance of having positive sporting experiences, and nurture a lifelong love of sport.

Nuku Ora, alongside Capital Football, is leading the Good Sports approach for the Wellington region; partnering with many sporting organisations and colleges across the region to deliver on the Collective’s kaupapa.

The Collective includes: Capital Football, Capital Basketball, Netball Central, Tennis Central, Cricket Wellington, Wellington Rugby, Wellington Hockey Association, College Sport Wellington, Kāpiti College, Upper Hutt College, Newlands College, and St Patricks College Silverstream. Each of these organisations are committed to the Wellington region’s Good Sports initiative over the next two years.

The Collective will start to feature Good Sports messaging and activations at their games and along the sidelines encouraging positive adult engagement. Promotion of positive support will help to ensure that sport is kept fun for the tamariki and rangatahi participating.

Kāpiti College Sports Coordinator, Alison Fitzmaurice, commented on the achievability of the Good Sports action plan in a recent statement, “There are lots of ways to do this. One of the great things about sport is that wins, losses, setbacks and problems are all part of the game. It’s where people put their focus that can be the issue. If people focus on effort and improvement, rather than getting so hung up on results, everyone enjoys the game more.”

The majority of people at sporting events have witnessed negative sporting behaviours from supporters to varying degrees. Over time these behaviours create negative associations with participating in sports, ruining the experience for our young ones as they grow.

Good Sports aims to combat this by creating conversation and awareness around appropriate side-line behaviours and educating parents and supporters on how to engage more positively.

Aligned with Sport New Zealand’s Balance is Better strategy, Wellington Rugby’s, Lucy Barry said, “We know that balance is really better for kids, for their development and for keeping them in sport longer. If you focus on the fun and enjoyment, and support kids to have a go at all sorts of things, it will benefit them in the long run.”

Having a strong team of Wellingtonian Good Sports on the Collective at this point is great. The next step is to increase the number of  codes involved so that we can all help to give our tamariki and rangatahi  the best possible start in sport and the best chance of keeping them in sport.