Youth Sport Development: How all the initiatives work

24 February 2020
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It is an exciting time for youth sport development with a real sense of momentum building towards change. But how do all these initiatives work and fit together? Read about Balance is Better, Sport New Zealand's Statement of Intent, Keep Up with the Play campaign, and Aktive Good Sports and how they contribtue to the wider Wellington region.

Balance is Better philosophy – Balance is Better is an evidence-based philosophy that encompasses our overall approach to youth sport over the next five years. It originated from the Sport New Zealand Talent Plan 2016-20 but has since become a broader conversation underpinning everything we do. It is envisaged it will become the title for the Sport New Zealand Youth Sport Development Plan 2020-24.

Find out more information about the Balance is Better philosophy.

Statement of Intent – A commitment to lead change in youth sport from five sports (rugby, netball, football, cricket and hockey) and Sport NZ by implementing the Balance is Better philosophy. The media launch in September announcing the collective stand and signing of the Statement of Intent drew a huge amount of attention. A series of Balance is Better Regional Forums will be hosted in 2020 to support regional leader awareness and education.

Keep up with the play campaign – This is a marketing campaign being launched in February that will run for six weeks to assist with broader education to anyone responsible for delivering youth sport – be it parents, coaches, administrators, sport leaders or teachers - to understand the challenges in youth sport and implement positive change based on the Balance is Better philosophy.

Find out more information about the Statement of Intent and Keep up with the play.

Good Sports Good Sports is a behaviour change initiative led by Aktive that educates and supports organisations in their work with key adult influencers in junior and youth sport, including parents / caregivers, coaches, teachers and administrators / sports leaders working in local and regional sport. It is underpinned by a strong evidence and research base, and a clear behaviour change process. 

Good Sports provides tailored support in regard to local and regional workforce development, with resources provided to support the workforce understand what makes a positive sporting experience for children. The initiative helps facilitate conversations (workshops) with stakeholders in clubs and schools and make changes to sport opportunities over time. It is supported by online marketing and communications resources. 

Developed by Aktive and its delivery partners as a Sport New Zealand Active Communities Project between 2014-17, Good Sports is now embedded in The Auckland Approach to Community Sport as a key element of support provided in the Auckland region.

In addition, Aktive is currently providing organisational support to a number of National Sport Organisations and Regional Sports Trusts outside of Auckland under a pilot project with Sport New Zealand which will conclude in May 2020.

At the end of this pilot, Sport New Zealand will be in a position to review whether there is a case to support the roll out of Good Sports with further partners at the community level. Note that Sport New Zealand is also reviewing and evaluating a range of other parent education programmes across the sector at the same time to inform thinking in this area.

Find out more information about Good Sports.