Since March 2020, 80% of the events on the School Sport NZ calendar have been cancelled. We are once again facing a significant challenge to deliver events against the backdrop of increasing COVID 19 community transmission across most areas of Aotearoa New Zealand. 

School Sport NZ has sought feedback from a range of stake holders in relation to the continuation of the events scheduled on the Term 1 calendar. In consultation with national sport partners, it is clear that many events are unable to continue under their current formats over the next 6 – 8 weeks. While this will be yet another set back for students and schools, we support and thank all of our sport partners who will equally share in the disappointment of further cancellations. 

Many secondary schools consulted nationally have indicated that they will not be attending sanctioned School Sport NZ events during Term 1, identifying challenges such as:

  • Isolation requirements of students and staff attending events
  • Significant extra health and safety protocols that will need to be incorporated to attend events
  • The significant resource required for schools to manage confirmed and close contact cases 
  • The financial risk to schools and families given the uncertainty of the coming months


The board of School Sport NZ is acutely aware of the pressure that Principals will be under at this time and fully support those schools that have chosen to limit their sporting activity during Term 1.

However, School Sport NZ recognises the importance of sport to student wellbeing, connections to friends, and creating a sense of belonging to their school. The intent of the CPF at Red is to allow sport to take place where it is safe to do so. 

There are many students and schools across the country that wish to participate in sport at this time, particularly regional and modified offerings. In support of those sports and schools wishing to participate safely, School Sport NZ will continue to sanction events where:

  • A detailed Health and Safety plan has been submitted to School Sport NZ showing it can operate safely within CPF Red settings at least 4 weeks in advance of the event taking place
  • The event has consulted with schools and has received assurances that teams will participate at least four weeks in advance of the event taking place.


Where schools are attending events, it is strongly encouraged that a detailed mitigation plan to manage the challenges of participation and attendance at sporting events are put in place, and that schools have a thorough understanding of the events health and safety requirements.

This decision allows sport to continue where it is safe to do so and empowers schools to make choices that are appropriate for its communities.

Finally, the restriction to participation in School Sport NZ sanctioned events for vaccinated students against COVID 19 aged 12 years and over, will continue to be reviewed against all further government updates, particularly the Minister of Education’s announcement scheduled for early this week.

Mike Summerell
School Sport NZ