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Once Were Winners

Once Were Winners

The winning attitude New Zealanders once took to the sports field has given way to a greater emphasis on participating than on winning, according to the TOWER/NFO NZ survey, What Worries New Zealanders? In response to a question in the nationwide survey last month, 77% of New Zealanders said participating in sport was more important than winning, although Aucklanders placed a greater importance on winning than the rest of the country.

TOWER Insurance, Head of Sales and Marketing, Henry Lynch, said TOWER commissioned NFO to undertake the survey in order to identify issues weighing on people’s minds, measure the extent of these concerns, and improve understanding about the impact of these issues on New Zealanders and their families.

Of the 500 people surveyed, only 16% said that winning at sport was more important than participating. However, respondents were most likely to place a greater importance on winning if they were young and male. Overall, 22% of males and 26% of young people between 18 and 24 years said that winning was more important compared with 12% of females and 11% of people aged 25 to 34 years, Mr Lynch said.

“The survey also revealed regional differences and differences between people who live in the major metropolitan areas and those who do not,” he said

“Almost 21% of respondents from Auckland, 18% from Wellington and Christchurch, and 14% from Dunedin, believed winning was more important. In other words, the further south that people live, the greater emphasis they place on participating rather than winning on the sports field.

“Only 7% of respondents living outside Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin believe it is more important to win than to participate.

“Other interesting information about New Zealander’s changing attitudes to sport and recreation included the fact that 53% of people believe that too much money is channelled into rugby, our national sport,” Mr Lynch said.

“This finding is consistent with the growth in other sports, including basketball and soccer, and the emergence of outdoor activities such as kite surfing,” he said.

“As New Zealand’s second largest health insurer, TOWER promotes a healthy lifestyle with some insurance policies offering ‘wellness benefits’ which provide such things as a free medical check up every three years and reimbursement towards sporting equipment or gym membership.

“Another survey result that may come as no surprise is that almost half [46%] of respondents believed that Australians are generally more confident than we are,” Mr Lynch said.

“While the question about the confidence of our old foes across the Tasman did not specifically relate to sport, the answer by the survey participants does have implications for sport.”

Mr Lynch said one person who took part in the survey described New Zealanders as a “nation of scaredy cats,” while another said “we don’t encourage people to achieve for themselves.

“The push towards involving more people in sport is supported by a greater awareness about the benefits of leading a healthier lifestyle,” he said.

The TOWER/NFO survey will be conducted on a regular basis.

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