A report has been released, which demonstrates the active participation in sports in New Zealand, by factors that include age, gender, ethnicity, as well as deprivation. The data included information from 6000 youths and 27000 adults.
With sports being such a crucial part of New Zealand’s national identity, the survey indicated that 95% of youth, and about 73% of adults, are participating in some sort of sport or recreation in a given week.
This is a high rate, especially given the benefits of physical activity, regarding people’s overall health and wellbeing. The participation in sports also helps create a sense of community, and the benefits on an individual can actually have immense societal advantages as well, such as happier overall people, which results in a more peaceful, and productive, society.
The most active people are those between 12 and 14, with a significant drop off between 15 and 17 years old. The male and female rates and levels of participation are strikingly similar, with the exception that males spend more time engaged in active sports, and females have a higher motivation. Those with the lowest weekly participation are the Maori, and the adults in the Pacific Islands, as well as those who are poor or suffer high levels of deprivation.
These results allow for many things. The first is that the level of participation per age allows for more productive and focused levels of active development. This would suit the needs, desires and activity levels of each age bracket, including encouraging more diverse and female coaches, as well as other resources. It also allows for the identification of areas of improvement, like with the Maori, and those with higher deprivation levels. This allows for the opportunity to develop more affordable, or accessible, programmes, to increase the participation of these less active groups; they may be not participating because of financial, or resource, issues, or blocks.