Turning taste into appetite for sport
Since the inception of KiwiSport in the Waikato, more than 10,000 young people have had a taste of sport.
KiwiSport officers representing 12 sports, with the recent inclusion of badminton, are just about to launch into season two of their free sport taster sessions and after-school programmes.
Sport Waikato chief executive Matthew Cooper said it was fantastic to see the impact KiwiSport was having.
‘‘The whole aim of KiwiSport is to get more kids involved in sport, especially those non-sporty ones and also to assist the current school environment by providing this extra support in the cocircular space,’’ Mr Cooper said.
‘‘Our KiwiSport model is unique to our region and with so many kids already having the opportunity to try a sport they may otherwise not have had, it’s great to see we’ve got it right.’’
Twelve Waikato sporting organisations partner Sport Waikato to deliver the KiwiSport initiative.
KiwiSport officers are employed by each sporting organisation to visit 25 Waikato centres including Matamata and provide afterschool programmes and in-school taster sessions for young people aged 5 to 18 years with the support of clubs and individuals.
They spend 4 to 5 weeks in each town running activities designed to attract young people to sport.
KiwiSport co-ordinator Roseanne Murray said the majority of young people taking part so far were primary and intermediate aged but term two would have greater emphasis on secondary school students as participants and encouraging them to become sport leaders.
‘‘We’re keen to develop, support and provide opportunities to secondary school students as future leaders in our communities,’’ Ms Murray said.