Turn­ing taste into ap­petite for sport

Matamata Chronicle - - 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.

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