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Balance Is Better When It Comes To Community Sport

Sport Hawke’s Bay is working alongside Sport New Zealand in an effort to keep more young people involved in sport.

The Sport New Zealand philosophy ‘Balance is Better’ is being driven locally by Sport Hawke’s Bay with a focus on creating higher quality experiences for all young people to keep them active and in the game.

Sport Hawke’s Bay Sport Development Manager Derryn Finlayson is encouraging all supporters of community sport to take note of the ‘Balance is Better’ messaging as well as the region’s own side-line behaviour programme, Be Part of the Team.

“Key adult influencers in sport need to lower their expectations and understand many young people may be returning with reduced physical skills and confidence,” Derryn said.

Sport Hawke’s Bay has recently been releasing tips via its social media channels that focus on putting the young athlete at the centre of return to play plan. A radio campaign is also about to start encouraging supporters to praise coaches, players and volunteers as community sport is back up and humming.

Derryn said the Balance is Better philosophy offers a fresh way of thinking for those involved in delivering youth sport.

“With teen participation levels declining, it is about creating quality experiences for all young people to keep them active and in the game.

The campaign encourages parents to think about how to put the fun and skill development back into youth sport. Parents, coaches, and supporters of community sport can sign up online to receive updates and the latest advice from Sport New Zealand.

“We have heard of some great success stories through youth sport already this year with some schools letting students select their own teams, resulting in more girls than ever playing netball in one specific school. Supporters need to play their part to and let these youngsters enjoy community sport for what it is.”

“Young people who enjoy sport develop a lifelong love of the game, turning them into active and healthy adults. Children love being active and playing sport, therefore the programme is designed to support parents to help their child enjoy sport.”

Sport New Zealand Regional Consultant Kelly Curr says, “Parents’ motivations for supporting their children to play sport and children’s motivations for playing sport don’t always line up.”

“Significant amounts of research have been conducted in New Zealand and around the world to understand why young people play sport. Anyone who’s asked them will know that young people play to have fun and enjoy time with their friends, but what we’d been seeing is that high performance attitudes were creeping into youth sport and people are dropping out. Balance is Better is about turning things around, it’s an evidence-based philosophy that puts the needs of the participant first. This includes encouraging fun and development rather than too strong a focus on winning, and promoting young people playing multiple sports rather than specialising too young.”

“We are encouraging all codes to care for them not just as young athletes, but as people. After a chaotic and unsettling few months, it will be great to see thousands of Hawke’s Bay children running around on Saturday morning again” adds Finlayson.

For more information, visit the Sport Hawke’s Bay website: www.sporthb.net.nz

For key ‘return to play top tips’ visit the Sport Hawke’s Bay Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SportHB

For more information on Balance is Better, visit the Balance is Better website: https://balanceisbetter.org.nz/

© Scoop Media

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