Sport Bay of Plenty

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Parent volunteers essential for youth sport survival

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Photo: John Borren

More than 50,000 parents and guardians keep sport running in the Bay.

Tens of thousands of kids wake up bright and early every Saturday morning, tie their boots or strap their pads on. Increasingly often, they're followed by bleary-eyed parents coaching, refereeing or helping out to make it happen.

More than 26 per cent of Bay adults volunteer in sport or recreation, the most recent Sport New Zealand survey found - a 3 per cent increase from the 2007/08 survey.

Without these 55,000 parents and adults, youth sport couldn't operate.

About 43 per cent of these volunteers coach or instruct, and the same number assist as a parent helper. Almost a third officiate and 22 per cent were in administration roles.

Sport New Zealand senior coaching adviser Andrew Eade said adult volunteers were essential to making youth sport happen, but were often reluctant to put their hands up because of a lack of confidence.

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