date_range Published 11 Feb 2019
While the top 10 sports in terms of students representing their school remains unchanged from 2017, the School Sport NZ Census released today shows that Basketball continued its growth in the sector to now be the second most popular sport in our secondary schools. Up by just over 800 students (3%) from 2017, the 2018 School Sport NZ Census recorded 26,481 students as pulling on their school Basketball colours, just behind Netball 27,139 (-5%) with Rugby in 3rd spot on 25,317. Badminton also continued its trend over recent years with 4% growth and 10,793 students making it 9th in terms of students representing their school.
Secondary school sport remains a significant part of the NZ sporting sector with almost 150,000 students representing their school in 2019 - 52% of all students, down 1% on 2017 figures. While also remaining the most significant providers of leadership, the number of teachers coaching or managing school sport continues to decline. 31% (8263) of teachers were involved in school sport in 2018, down 1% on 2017. School SportNZ has recently partnered with Waikato University in undertaking research into the issues of teachers and coaching in Secondary Schools and hopes this in-depth work will provide some solutions to engaging teachers in this important part of young New Zealanders physical, social and mental wellbeing.