School Sport NZ Census 2020 released

The 2020 School Sport NZ census released this week shows that sport, arguably more than ever, continues to remain an important part of school life. The impact of COVID 19 on the school sport system is clear to see with the overall number of students participating in school sport declining to 48%, the first time this number has dropped below 50% in over a decade.

However, what the data also clearly shows is that when it was possible to participate in school sport, schools and students across the country flocked back to the fields and courts and participated in their tens of thousands. To all our NSO and event partners across the country a huge thank you on behalf of all our schools, students, and their communities for providing the opportunity to participate in sport at a time when we thought no school sport may be possible at all. Your hard work, perseverance, and ability to think how sport could be offered in a different way allowed for students across the country to enjoy the many social, physical, and mental benefits that we know exist through participation in sport.

While many of the traditional team sports showed decreases in participation, it is heartening to see that ten’s of thousands of students still were able to pull on their school jersey’s with pride. Given most of these sports were unable to deliver their traditional events on the School Sport NZ calendar in 2020, these figures are testament to the value schools and students place on these participation options. Netball remains the most popular sport in our secondary schools with over 25,000 students involved, followed by Basketball (24,000), Rugby (24,000), Volleyball (22,000), and Football (20,700).

While the challenges we faced within the school sport sector are clear to see, there was also plenty of opportunity with some sports showing increases in participation numbers. Leading this trend is Volleyball with a 26% increase in students participating over one year! Volleyball NZ Chief Executive Toni-Maree Carnie said she was 'delighted' with the increase and that Volleyball NZ "continues to work hard to ensure there are more opportunities for those young people still wanting to participate in volleyball to be able to play. We know young women are coming to the sport in droves, we know they love having fun, playing with their friends and being in an environment that is not weather dependent".

Teacher coaches should perhaps be put on the endangered species list with the numbers continuing to decline at around 1% annually with 15% of teachers coaching a school team in 2020. While this seems like a slow leak, in actual numbers that represents almost 700 teachers lost to coaching over the past 5 years. Continuing at this rate of decline poses a real threat to quality school sport and teacher coaches are in need of protection! School Sport NZ’s recently completed research has highlighted the issues and challenges that teachers have reported around involvement in school sport, it is heartening that this research is being utilised across the school sport system with Sport NZ and NSOs looking at supporting and addressing these challenges in 2021 with some exciting initiatives.

Regional Sports Directors have been provided with detailed regional School Sport NZ Census data and National Summaries can be found on the School Sport NZ website HERE

School Sport NZ announces new Sport Development and Event Manager 

School Sport NZ is pleased to announce that after a thorough recruitment and interview process, the role of Sport Development and Event Manager has been offered to and accepted by Nicki Paterson.

Nicki brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience within the school sport sector as Regional Sport Director for the Otago Secondary School Sports Association for more than 8 years, and previous roles in both the education and sport sectors. 

Nicki will start her role with School Sport NZ on the 17th April and will remain in her role as RSD for OSSSA until then.

New website layout and calendar platform now live!

The new School Sport NZ website is now live! A new layout has been designed with the user in mind to access all of the important event information, news, and opportunities available through School Sport NZ. Check it out here 

We have also introduced a new calendar platform for 2021 allowing you to now search for the events you are interested in across three different view formats.

Never miss an important update again by subscribing to receive updates on specific events and many more new features. Access all of the event entry information and forms, health and safety documents and more all in the one convenient place. Take a look at the new calendar here