Welcome to School Sport 2021!

Welcome back – we hope you had a relaxing and refreshing break with your whanau and friends and have recharged your passion for ensuring your students enjoy some great school sport experiences in 2021. While the implications of Covid are still very much with us, we hope that the great work of all New Zealanders in working together to minimise the impact, now sees us able to look forward to a full school sport programme in 2021.

There are a number of new and exciting things happening for 2021. 

  • The new School Sport NZ calendar structure with its tiering of events into Championships, Cups and Carnivals has already drawn a lot of positive feedback and the new  offerings from NSOs will make events accessible to more schools and more students.
  • School Sport NZ will this month launch a new website. The new platform aims to make it a lot easier for you to access the latest school sport and event news. We have also upgraded the calendar platform so that you can search for events and access all information for that event in one place.
  • School Sport NZ will also launch a Student Athlete Commission (SAC) in early 2021. Student input to the design and delivery of school sport and in informing change and development is a critical factor in driving the continual improvement, increasing the quality of events, leading to positive experiences and, consequently, increased participation and the SAC will provide an exciting leadership development opportunity for students that are already involved in sporting leadership at local and regional level. Nominations for SAC positions will be called shortly so watch this space.
  • The NZ Teachers Games 2021 version will be held in the first week of the April holidays in Dunedin. With something for everyone, the 3 NZTG events held in Mt Manganui attracted rave reviews so get your mates together – anyone on the school payroll is eligible – and rediscover the joy and value of sport in Dunedin in April. Visit the NZTG website HERE for all events and entry info.
  • After being a victim to Covid in 2020, the North Island School Sport Conference 2021 is planning to be back at the Millennium Hotel in Rotorua September 19th -21st. You won’t want to miss the premier school sport professional learning and networking opportunity so lock the dates in your diary and put a line in your budget now.
  • The biannual review of School Sport NZ Eligibility Criteria in 2020 resulted in a number of changes for 2021, including some changes in New To School maximum numbers and composite team rules which were notified to schools in May then confirmed in August last year. Please ensure you have reviewed the full Eligibility Criteria so that your teams comply and avoid any issues arising at the last minute which can cause unnecessary stress on everyone.


Finally, with this Friday being my last day as CEO of School Sport NZ before retirement (at least semi-retirement anyway), this will be my last newsletter to you all after almost 13 years in the role. I have hugely enjoyed the privilege of working with so many passionate, hardworking people in ensuring our schools and students are able to enjoy the physical, social and mental benefits of representing their school alongside their mates. The work you all do is critical to the wellbeing of our young people and the health of our schools, communities and nation. I wish you all the best in continuing to ensure that school sport is a jewel in the crown of the both education and the NZ sporting sector.

 He waka eke noa. Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi. Engari, he toa takitini.