Physical Literacy Approach

Guidance for quality physical activity and sport experiences.

Why is Sport NZ taking this approach?

Sport New Zealand’s (Sport NZ) vision is to enrich lives and inspire a nation through physical activity and sport.

We aim to be the world’s most successful sporting nation, through the development and support of a world leading community sport system. To be world-leading in community sport we will be participant-focused, system-led and performance-driven.

To bring this participant-focused philosophy to life we are taking a physical literacy approach.

The Sport NZ Physical Literacy Approach takes a holistic view of the participant that considers their physical; social and emotional; cognitive; and spiritual needs. By understanding that these dimensions influence the needs of every participant, within their specific environments, we can provide physical activity and sport experiences that inspire ongoing participation.

We want to ensure that our partners and providers, government agencies, and all who provide and support physical activity and sport opportunities, have a shared understanding of this holistic needs approach and consider how it can add value to the physical activity and sport opportunities they provide.

What is physical literacy?

Physical literacy is “the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding required by participants that allows them to value and take responsibility for engaging in physical activity and sport for life[1]”.

Sport NZ’s Physical Literacy Approach is relevant across all ages, recognising and responding to the needs of a participant as they change throughout life. Babies, children, young people, adults and seniors can all be participating in physical activity and sport in a variety of ways and in a variety of places. Their needs will vary and this document provides a starting point for considering these needs.

Download the full booklet on Physcial Literacy here (pdf, 3mb)