Sport & Recreation

The key to lifelong fun, fitness and community involvement

Sport and recreation is an important part of the New Zealand lifestyle contributing approximately $5.2 billion a year to the New Zealand economy and employing over 50,000 people.

Internationally, New Zealand’s elite athletes regularly outperform most other nations when we take our small population size into account.

Whether we are enthusiastic amateurs or have professional ambitions, sport and recreation is almost part of our national psyche. So what is the difference between sport and recreation? In some instances, not much!

Canstock Images/Sport .jpgRecreation is physical activity done for lifestyle, wellbeing, health and/or enjoyment. This may include playing on a playground, walking, going for a run, biking to school, kicking the ball around in the park, or playing sport. It may be participated in either individually, with a group or as a team.

Sport is physical activity that is competitive, organised, involves the observation of rules, and may be participated in either individually or as a team.

The options available are extensive. No matter what your environmental preference, there is an option to suit:

There is growing concern that our children and young people are becoming less active. Television, video games and computers are, for some youngsters, replacing playing in the park and other such activities outside of school.

This trend needs to be averted as sport and recreation have significant benefits.

Sport & Recreation Assists Development & Learning

Children learn from movement and physical activity. It is important for healthy brain development that children move. Early childhood experiences are critical to the development of the skills, attitudes and confidence required to become an active participant in sport and recreation in later life.

Children participating in physical activity have improved educational outcomes as they develop their gross and fine motor skills and build brain pathways.

Sport and recreation also encourages teamwork helping to develop essential social and emotional coping skills. Young people’s involvement in sport and recreation has also been shown to reduce anti-social behaviour.

Sport & Recreation Is Important for Health & Wellbeing

Sport and recreation encourages regular activity which provides physical and psychological health benefits such as higher levels of self-confidence, motivation and self-esteem. It provides an element of fun, providing respite from everyday hassles and challenges.

Sport & Recreation Strengthens Communities

Sport and recreation draws people together from different backgrounds developing a heightened sense of community, identity and willingness to contribute back to their communities.

Sport and recreation has the ability to drive a sense of community through developing social networks and shared experiences. Sport also has the ability to break down cultural barriers and connect people within communities.

So come on, give sport & recreation a go!