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Auckland’s socio-economic gap driving participation down

The spotlight was on social inequality at the recent Sport and Recreation Sector Event 2019: Making Auckland the world’s most active city, with international benchmarking from Portas Consulting revealing that deprivation in Auckland affects participation more than in London, Stockholm and Singapore.

Hosted by Aktive, in association with strategic partners Sport New Zealand and Auckland Council, more than 120 leaders from 90 different sport, recreation, health and community organisations attended the event, which featured the latest Active Citizens Worldwide research from leading global management consultancy Portas Consulting.

This research shows that individuals from higher socio-economic backgrounds are more active through sport and active recreation, with Auckland however having the highest socio-economic gap of all Active Citizens Worldwide participating cities.

Aktive’s Chief Executive, Dr Sarah Sandley says addressing social inequalities is key to shifting the dial.

“The Active Citizens Worldwide research indicates that a there is a vast difference in socio-economic status across Auckland which impacts participation in sport and active recreation,” says Dr Sandley. “We need to address this gap and ensure physical activity opportunities target low socio-economic communities in Tāmaki Makaurau.”

Thomas Fleurot, Project Manager, Portas Consulting echoes this statement: “Through this research, we are laying the foundations to increase physical activity in Auckland by identifying crucial areas to focus efforts and resources.”

The Sport and Recreation Sector Event featured a range of topics relevant to the sector including research and insights, case studies and focus areas for Tāmaki Makaurau.

“This annual event is an opportunity for those in the Auckland sport and recreation sector to connect and learn about new and innovative ways of engaging people across the region and increase physical activity,” says Dr Sandley. “A major take-

out is that, as a sector, we must double down on the use of research and combine our scale and expertise to reach those who are underactive, community by community.”

Attendees were addressed by distinguished guests including Mace Ward, General Manager Parks Sport & Recreation, Auckland Council; Peter Miskimmin, Chief Executive Officer, Sport New Zealand; Dr Sarah Sandley, Chief Executive, Aktive; and Thomas Fleurot, Project Manager, Portas Consulting, alongside sector speakers from organisations including Community Leisure Management, Parafed Auckland, Harbour Rugby and Squash Auckland.

Featuring the hashtag #GetAktiveAKL, Aktive tweeted and posted updates and messages communicated by speakers throughout the event. These included comments from Thomas Fleurot of Portas Consulting: ‘We identified areas of focus for the sector including the need to match provision to participants’ changing preferences, addressing the social inequalities of physical activity and encouraging workforce diversity’; and ‘We are far more than just competitive sport,’ from Peter Miskimmin.

Dr Sandley adds: “We also need leaders from diverse cultures so we can reach those who are underactive in their communities.

“Aktive is proud to help facilitate these valuable connections and we look forward to building on this with further opportunities to bring the sector together.”

The Active Citizens Worldwide annual report can be found at http://activecitizens.world/2019-report

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