- The multisport holiday programme is a collaboration between the Waikato sporting bodies to stablish and delivery and sports programme that is affordable, accessible, and aligned with the principles of Balance is Better. Led by Hamilton City Netball, Northern Districts Cricket and Waikato Touch, the programme brought together Football, Hockey, Volleyball, Rugby, Accessible Trikes, Netball, Cricket, Touch, and Kilikiti during the April school holidays, with Ultimate Frisbee, Softball, Fencing, Squash and Yoga joining for the September programme. The programme provides a single location where kids can register to try out many different sports, with quality coaching and support.
- The identification of the need to privovide and inclusive programme as a ‘one stop sports shop’, stemmed from discussions between the RSOs at the Waikato Sports Café, with many seeing and hearing the same trends within their communities. In the lead-up to the school holidays, many of the sporting organisations were in the midst of planning and advertising school holiday programmes, with nearly all sports finding a significant downwards trend in holiday programme registrations over the past few seasons. Sports all reported similar feedback and insights, with the cost of living coming through as a significant barrier to participation, along with the timings of programmes not allowing parents to go to work, and the number of options available forcing parents and their kids to choose only 1 sport to participate in. Through receiving funding from Tu Manawa for this project, the sports were able to come together to put on an affordable programme that runs for the full school-length day, providing kids with the opportunity to participate in most sports on offer in the region.
- Stemming from the original meetings, a collective was formed in late 2022 to begin planning for the programme. This enabled the delivery of a 2-day holiday programme, held at Fraser High School, during the April holidays, which featured Cricket, Touch, Netball, Rugby, Football, Volleyball, Hockey, Kilikiti and accessible trikes. Throughout the day, the kids rotated through each sport, enabling them to give all sports a try and removing any social stigmas that might prevent them from trying a certain sport. Following from the success and feedback from this first programme, a number of additional sports were approached to join for a second programme to be delivered during the September school holidays. This includes Yoga, Fencing, Ultimate Frisbee, Softball and Squash.
A number of organisations have been heavily involved in the planning and delivery of this initiative.
Hamilton City Netball Centre
Norther Districts Cricket Association
Sun Salute Yoga
Ride your Trike NZ
Thames Valley Rugby
Sport Waikato have also been pivotal in supporting this initiative
- A key positive outcome of this collaboration was increased willingness from the sporting bodies to work collectively for better overall outcomes for all young people. The commitment from all organisations involved to focus on how we can improve outcomes across all sports, rather than focusing on competing between sports for participants demonstrates a shift in perspective across sport. With a key principle of Balance is Better being around encouraging cross-code participation, this collaborative initiative has provided young people with a great opportunity to experience multiple sports in one location, whilst also encouraging increased communication and collaboration between the sporting codes.
- A key success of this programme was the number of Tamariki who took up the opportunity to participate in sports that they otherwise may not have had the chance to. 88 participants took part in the April programme and a further 86 participants registered for the September programme. In addition to this, approximately 10 participants are registered for the upcoming Whitianga programme, with registrations still being received for the Thames Valley programmes. Some feedback from the initial programme showcased the impact of having all the sports involved, with one participant (m, 10yrs) sharing that they ‘liked netball the most, but haven’t played it before’.
- Hamilton City
- Sport & Active Recreation Partnership