To answer these and other key questions we’ve surveyed over 17,000 students in primary, intermediate and secondary schools.
This is the most significant piece of research into young New Zealanders’ participation in sport and recreation in more than 10 years. The scale of the survey allows us, for the first time, to explore how sport and recreation fit into the lives of boys and girls of different ages and backgrounds.
Initial results are now available. Other insights and greater understanding will emerge as we delve further into this significant research.
On this page
A welcome from Peter Miskimmin
See also our media release, "Future Kiwi Olympians waiting in the wings"
What have we learned?
This survey provides a voice for young New Zealanders to tell us about their sporting lives. The results tell us many positive things, as well as providing us with some challenges.
Summary of the key findings
What does it all mean?
The initial results provide key insights into the way young New Zealanders take part in sport and recreation activities, as well as telling us where and how they take part, and what sports/activities they’d like to try or do more of.
More key insights from the results
What are we doing in response?
The survey results confirm what we already suspected, that young people are a very diverse group and we will take account of their varied preferences and circumstances as we work towards our goal of more young people engaging in more sport and recreation.
Our response to the results will be a considered one. Over the coming months we will identify the implications for our strategic direction and our plan for young people’s sport. We also will be finding out what our partner organisations (regional sports trusts, national sports organisations and local councils) and others think about the results, so we can take a sector-wide approach to giving young people every opportunity to participate in sport and recreation, and share our passion for sport.
We also will work with other government agencies such as education and health to find the best ways to get more young people enjoying and benefitting from taking part in sport and recreation.
Other results from the students’ survey and results from the teachers’ survey will be published in a series of factsheets that will be available on our website.
About the Survey
In 2011, Sport NZ invited selected primary, intermediate and secondary schools across New Zealand to take part in the Young People's Survey.
Schools from all across the country were invited so we have information from a nationally representative cross-section of boys, girls and young people of all ages.
Over 500 schools took part in the survey. Over 8 out of 10 schools we asked to take part did so. The survey took part in schools, as this is the best way to contact a large number of young people.
At each school, one or more classes were chosen at random and the students in those classes were asked if they would to take part in the survey. Parents/caregivers of Years 1 and 2 students were asked to complete the survey form on behalf of their children. The survey was voluntary and all answers were anonymous.
Almost 7 out of 10 students/parents selected for the survey took part. Combining this figure with the school response rate, gives an overall response rate of just over 60%.
Survey forms and methods suitable for different age groups were used.
Students in Years 3 to 13 completed the forms themselves. Parents/caregivers of students in Years 1 and 2 completed the forms on behalf of their children.
The survey collected information about sport and recreation in its broadest sense, from casual games and activities (described as “mucking around”) to organised competitions. It also collected information about involvement in events and outdoor recreation activities provided by schools.
Other topics included participation in sport and recreation activities organised by schools, clubs, and groups like Scouts and Guides, as well as how much time young people spent doing these types of activities.
Questions also asked young people what activities they'd like to try or do more of and whether they belong to school sports teams, clubs, get coaching or get involved as volunteers.
Who carried out the survey?
Trained survey staff and professional researchers helped Sport NZ with the survey. We chose the research company Ipsos NZ to work with us and they partnered with Reid Research to run the survey in schools throughout New Zealand.
Alistair Gray (Statistics Research Associates Ltd) provided statistical advice throughout the survey.
Find out more
The Introduction in the initial report has more information about how the survey was carried out. Full details are in the Methodology Report (PDF, 1.6 Mb).
Six survey forms were designed for the 2011 YPS. Four were designed for students (or their parents) to complete, allowing us to ask age-appropriate questions. Two were designed for staff to complete to provide further insights into sport and recreation in schools.
The six survey forms can be downloaded below.
Age-appropriate student forms
Staff survey forms
You are welcome to use all or part of these forms. If you do, we’d appreciate you letting us know (please email YPS@sportnz.org.nz). We also ask you acknowledge Sport New Zealand and the other contributing studies listed below.
Can my RST / Council carry out the survey in schools?
If you are interested in carrying out the survey in schools in your area, Sport New Zealand is keen to hear from you. We have tips for carrying out the survey.
Please note that we plan to repeat the YPS in the future, so we’d like to know about any survey work in the interim. For enquiries, please email YPS@sportnz.org.nz.
Sport NZ, in collaboration with our research partners (Ipsos NZ and Reid Research), designed the YPS. Survey forms were tested with young people and schools (cognitive and pilot testing).
Sport NZ would also like to thank PENZ (Physical Education New Zealand) for their advice through the design stages.
We acknowledge the following studies (in alphabetical order), which helped shape to varying degrees the design and content of the YPS survey forms:
- New South Wales Schools Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey (SPANS)
- New Zealand Sport and Physical Activity Survey
- New Zealand Youth Tobacco Monitor – Youth In-depth Survey
- Outdoor Foundation – Outdoor Recreation Participation Survey
- Physical Self-Description Survey (PSDP)
- San Diego State University - 2001 PACE: Physical Activity Stages
- Scottish Government Social Research – Children’s Participation in Culture and Sport
- Social Support for Exercise Survey
- Sports Council Wales – Primary School Children Sport Survey
- Sports Council Wales – Sports, Games and Other Physical Activities Survey
- Sports Council Wales – Survey of PE Provision in Welsh Primary Schools
- Sports Council Wales – Survey of PE Provision in Welsh Secondary Schools
- The Irish Sports Council – Children’s Sport Participation and Physical Activity Study (CSPPA)
- UK Government Department for Education – PE and Sport Survey 2009/10
- Youth2000. New Zealand Youth: A Profile of their Health and Wellbeing.