Active Voice: What's in a word?
Monday, August 27, 2018
Written by Heidi Lichtwark, Chief Executive Officer, Sport Bay of Plenty
In the last couple of weeks we've been fortunate to have Sport New Zealand visit the Bay of Plenty to kick-start a series of five national workshops about the future of sport.
The workshop was attended by approximately 50 people who work or volunteer in sport, recreation, physical activity, schools, health and councils. Feedback from the workshop, combined with other input, will form the basis of a draft Sport New Zealand Community Sport Strategy from 2020.
There were lots of ideas, discussions and brainstorms that emerged from the session, and the group enjoyed the chance to talk about how we keep people involved in sport and recreation into the future. We also discussed how to target people who might be missing out on being active at the moment.
Discussion around this led us to talk about the wider benefits of movement and the value of sport at all levels (competitive to recreational). Believe it or not, the term ‘sport’ and what it encompasses can be debated for quite some time!
For some people sport can be interpreted as meaning competitive, rigid and associated with something they were forced to do at school. At the other end of the spectrum, the word can infer mates, fun, achievement and passion. There were some different perspectives and great stories involved in the chat, and it was wonderful to have a chance to ‘blue sky’ what we would like sport to stand for in our region.
Amongst all the discussion, one thing was certain: Regardless of which word we used, we wanted everyone – of all ages – to be able to have an easy life choice to be active.
Being active makes us feel good, helps form social connections, supports positive physical and mental health and … it’s just downright fun! We know all this because of Sport New Zealand’s continuous monitor survey of the physical activity levels of New Zealanders – the Active NZ survey. The size of the survey was recently increased to include four times as many respondents than in past surveys.
Results specific to the Bay of Plenty will be released later this year, and will no doubt provide some great insights about how we get involved in sport, recreation and movement. We’ll be sure to share this information and its implications later in 2018.
In the meantime, no matter what sport means to you, why not get out there and get involved? We’ve got a great directory on the Sport Bay of Plenty website to help you find just the right activity in your region of the Bay, and we'll be updating listings soon.
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