Sport and recreation is an important part of the great New Zealand lifestyle. Through sport and recreation we learn, grow, set and achieve goals, develop and master movement skills, find a sense of belonging and community – and excel and win.
The Sport and Recreation Pathway is lifelong – made up of various stages and phases described below. And it’s about stages and progression rather than age. Ultimately, the pathway is about ongoing participation and high performance. These two outcomes are achieved as one integrated sport and recreational system.
This presentation outlines the Sport and Recreation Pathway.
Download the Sport and Recreation Pathway presentation (PDF, 132 Kb)
In the foundation phase you progress through the ‘explore’ and ‘learn’ stages. This phase recognises that early childhood movement experiences are critical in the development of the skills, attitudes, and confidence required to become an active participant in sport and recreation in later life.
This phase also recognises that early sport and recreational experiences need to be structured to meet the needs of children within a planned pathway that targets sequential development and ongoing participation in sport and recreation through youth and adult life.
- The majority of children will transition through this stage at some time in the first seven years of life.
- Development is fostered through an environment around the child that is caring, safe, and supportive, and encourages movement exploration, play, and fun.
- Critical to being able to enter the learn stage (sport and recreation) is the development of basic movement patterns and confidence in movement, and a willingness to attempt new activities.
- Children at this stage need many and varied movement experiences every day.
- Entry level to sport and physical recreation activities.
- Most children will transition through this stage by age 12.
- Development is fostered through providing playful, fun, and supportive environments where children can experience success, develop skills, and learn positive attitudes towards sport and recreation.
- A long term approach by coaches, parents, and clubs is critical. The development of skills and positive attitudes in every child is more important than winning every week - although this does not imply that children should not strive to win.
- Specialisation should be avoided.
- Multiple sport and recreational experiences are important.
- Multiple positional and roles within sports are important.
- Talent identification and representative programmes are not required.
Community Sport and Recreation phase
This phase is about sport and physical recreation for youth and adult life i.e. beyond childhood. This is a diverse and complex phase where enjoyment and fun are the key drivers for participation, but at the same time performance, challenge, and improvement are also important motivators. During this phase these dual aspirations across a wide age range need to be catered for.
The pathway through this stage is not linear, and changes in direction and aspiration are common. It’s important then that multiple formats and options are available for the diverse needs of this stage as most participants will change activities throughout their lives and need to 'retrain'.
Talented athlete phase
This phase is all about realising performance potential of athletes. In this phase athletes with the potential to perform to a very high level in the future are 'identified' (talent identification). These athletes transition through the perform stage with the ultimate goal of reaching the excel stage and maximising their performance level.
When to start the process of identification is sport specific but should be based around the following principles;
- should be inclusive rather than exclusive
- conducted throughout the participate stage as individuals will develop at varying rates
- early specialisation should be avoided even with identified athletes as this will lead to athlete burnout and/or drop out
- clear programmes need to be implemented around identified individuals with development rather than competition as the key outcome.
- Open to any age.
- Involvement in multiple sports but only one (or perhaps two) pursued 'seriously'.
- Higher frequency of deliberate practice with a focus on skill development.
- Position/roles are identified within chosen sports.
- Success and failure are both viewed as valuable experiences.
- Long term vision around the development of an individual is key.
- Open to any age.
- Athletes are able to translate their training and technical skills into competing at a world-class level and achieving excellence in one sport.
- The focus of the stage is on optimisation of performance.
- Athletes need to be integrated into the decision-making process.
- The need for specialised support to deal with stresses associated with elite competition
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