Moving Waikato 2025
A strategy to grow participation in sport, recreation and physical activity in the Waikato region

One Vision: A healthy, vibrant, physically active and successful sporting region.

Moving Waikato 2025 is the first unified strategy for sport, recreation and physical activity for the Waikato region. It seeks to build on the positive momentum of existing partnerships and to increase the provision of opportunities for both participation and sporting success for the people of the region.

The strategy has been developed in collaboration and consultation with key partners regionally and nationally and follows on from evidence gathered to guide and inform strategic decisions.

Moving Waikato 2025 provides a vision for the unified leadership of sport, recreation and physical activity in the region and gives focus and clarity towards 2025. A strategy in which partnerships achieve results.

Three Strategic Priorities will guide implementation towards 2025:

1. OUR PEOPLE: MORE ADULTS, MORE CHILDREN ‘OUT THERE AND ACTIVE’. A focus on the provision of opportunities that meet the needs of the people of our region.

2. ‚ÄčBUILDING COMMUNITIES: HELPING COMMUNITIES TO HELP THEMSELVES. A focus on quality local delivery of sport, recreation and physical activity experiences.

3. REGIONAL LEADERSHIP: LEADING AND DELIVERING CHANGE. A focus on regional and national partners working together to lead change and enhance outcomes.

View the Moving Waikato 2025 Strategy here



thisisme.jpgTargeting increased participation in sport, recreation and physical activity by girls of all ages

It’s early days for the partnered development of a joint initiative to grow participation in Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity by Girls of All Ages. 
It’s exciting times so watch this space!
In late 2017 Sport Waikato will lead the development and launch of a new initiative to actively work with partners in local communities.
THIS IS METM  is an initiative designed to transform traditional views on physical activity, targeting ‘girls’ of all ages to reverse declining participation trends.  THIS IS METM will encourage individuals, organisations and communities to work together towards a common goal.
‘Real girls’, ‘Real connections’ and ‘Real messages’ - being proud to do things in your own way.
An initiative to aid individuals, sports and community organisations to create awareness and grow participation for the ‘girls’ of their community.  THIS IS METM is designed to transform traditional views and messages of physical activity.
The Aim:

  • Encouraging physical activity conversations
  • Sparking interest - connecting individuals to opportunities 
  • Encouraging participation with the goal of making participation part of everyday life

Increasing Youth Participation

OURPEOPLE.pngOne of the key focus areas of MW2025 is that of youth. It is recognised that currently there is a drop off of participation in sport and recreation activities at a secondary school level. Students don’t necessarily transition beyond secondary school into a sporting or even physical recreation pathway. This then results in a higher amount of Waikato youth not meeting the physical activity guidelines and carrying this concerning trend on into their adult lives.

Sport Waikato CEO Matthew Cooper states "Until more recently secondary schools have focussed physical activity primarily around competitive, organised sport. To help capture non participants and ensure that more people are able to be out there and active everyday throughout their lives there needs to be a focus on recreation opportunities and base level movement too. Sport Waikato have been working with the newly formed Waikato Secondary School Sports Association to look at how both sport and recreation can be supported in secondary schools throughout the Waikato region."
The Waikato Secondary School Sports Association has signalled their intent to work with Sport Waikato to change this trend as part of MW2025. The first step in this process has been to look at building and supporting sport and recreation in Waikato secondary schools with the creation of a Secondary School Sports Executive Director position.

This position will work with principals and sporting codes/clubs on strategic issues and develop a strategic plan for sport and recreation in secondary schools. They will promote inclusion across all levels of sport and recreation for all students. The position has been a long time coming and is a lead nationally with support from Secondary School Sports Council and Sport NZ. The Executive Director will work as part of a growing Secondary Schools Team out of the Sport Waikato office though will have joint reporting through to the Waikato Secondary School Sports Association Chair and Sport Waikato.

Kelvin Whiting, Principal of Hillcrest High School is the Chair of the Waikato Secondary School Sports Association. Kelvin states that ‘We are delighted to announce the appointment of Tony Rogers as the Secondary School Sports Executive Director. This role is designed as a higher level strategic link between secondary school Principals, sporting clubs and codes to deliver on the goals of Moving Waikato 2025, particularly increasing the percentage of young people aged 12-17 years participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity each day.” 

Kelvin goes on to comment “The collaborative process of working alongside Sport Waikato on getting to this point has been hugely successful. We now look forward to Tony beginning in his role in July and working with Principals to take this region to a new level in terms of secondary school sport and recreation.”

Tony comes to us from Rangitoto College where he has held the position of Director of Sport. He has a long history of working within the sports sector in New Zealand including Performance Manager at Athletics New Zealand where he lead the Athletics team to Athens in 2004, and the private tertiary establishment, New Zealand Institute of Sport. He has also competed in middle distance athletics running 1500m at Olympic level. 

Both the Waikato Secondary School Sports Association and Sport Waikato as key stakeholders in MW2025 are looking forward to Tony starting on July 10 and the space of secondary school sports growing and continuing to achieve great results for the people of the Waikato region.

New Zealand's first Age Friendly City

Older.jpgAs our region’s largest population base, Hamilton is at the start of a journey of greatness with regard to our aged populations. A Steering Group was established in 2016 to drive the bid for the city to become New Zealand’s first Age Friendly City. An Age Friendly City is a World Health Organisation initiative whereby a city declares a set of initiatives and principles that will make it more easily accessible and provide a better quality of life for its older residents.  Sport Waikato, as a part of the implementation of Moving Waikato 2025 (MW2025), has a place on the steering group and has been considering how they can contribute to the social and health outcomes of older  people in Hamilton through sport, physical activity and nutrition opportunities.
The Age Friendly Steering Group is aiming to submit an Age Friendly Plan to the World Health Organisation by the end of 2017. This plan will  identify future priorities for creating an age-friendly environment within Hamilton while also documenting the collective efforts of agencies already involved in making our city more age friendly. . The Moving Waikato 2025 strategy, and the work of Sport Waikato as a lead agency is hoping to add another dimension to the Age Friendly Hamilton initiative in helping to increase the quality of life for older generations.
The physical literacy approach of MW2025 recognises that participation in physical activity and recreation is essential across all cohorts of the age spectrum. Remaining active into older age is a key 'people focus' area of the strategy for the region. If Waikato residents are to turn around the alarming decline in meeting the physical activity guidelines, then lifelong participation needs to be targeted and appropriate to each age group.
The Chair of the Age Friendly Hamilton Steering Group, Dame Peggy Koopman-Boyden, states that "there is a link between older people participating in recreation or physical activity and a feeling of social-connectedness. Hamilton City Council surveys show that older people in Hamilton feel well connected to their community but a significant number still feel isolated. Recreation can be used as a way to unite like-minded people and make them feel good both mentally and physically."
Sport Waikato currently delivers the Green Prescription programme on behalf of the Waikato District Health Board. Through this programme Waikato residents receive targeted and often individualised packages of information around physical activity and nutrition to better equip families to achieve a better quality of life. Green Prescription can be delivered in a variety of ways to a variety of groups and individuals.

With the Age Friendly focus on older people, there will be opportunities to better target this service to older people in various environments. Already Sport Waikato teams are working with rest homes to offer exercise options, but there is much more that such programmes can offer to help Hamilton achieve the age-friendly status.

Partners Unite to Increase Insights to Moving Waikato 2025

insights.jpgMoving Waikato 2025 aims to better understand and improve our region’s physical activity and health.
In 2015, Sport Waikato published Moving Waikato 2020 Insights.  This research showed that in 2015 the Waikato region:

  • had the third least active adult population in New Zealand;
  • had only 46% of adults meet the Ministry of Health’s Physical Activity Guidelines down from 54% in 2007

As a result of this research, key partners in the delivery of Moving Waikato 2025 aim to have 54% of adults in our region meet the Physical Activity Guidelines by 2025, returning our community’s physical activity levels to 2007 results.  The Physical Activity Guidelines recommend (5 times a week, 30 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity) undertaken for the purposes of sport, exercise or recreation to achieve a positive health outcome.
As part of this aim, Sport Waikato is collaborating with Local Authority partners, Sport New Zealand and Nielsen in the delivery of Active New Zealand a survey into the trends of participation in sport, exercise and recreation.  Active New Zealand aims to report participation results at a national and regional level.  In 2017, key partners have increased the Waikato region’s sample size to review community participation at a district level. The survey responses will then be analysed at both a national, regional and district level to provide insights into Waikato residents’ participation in physical activity across different groups (ethnicity, age, gender).
“District-level research findings from Active New Zealand will increase our understanding of physical activity in the Waikato region, and will enhance the collective ability of partners to develop targeted programmes to help meet the intended goals of Moving Waikato 2025. Ultimately, the provision of quality, reliable research will enhance the sector’s ability to make a positive impact on the lives of the people of the Waikato by increasing their physical activity levels in sport, exercise and recreation.”  Janette Brocklesby, Research Lead (Community Sport), Sport New Zealand.

Waikato Regional Sports Facilities Plan

RJHS.jpgIn November 2014, the Regional Sports Facilities Plan was endorsed by the Waikato Mayoral Forum.  A joint initiative of key stakeholders from the Sport and Recreation sector, Funders and Local Government the plan is designed to understand what facilities the region has, what is needed (and not needed), and recommend how an agreed facility network approach can be implemented within the Waikato. 
The plan highlights nine guiding principles and a facility decision making framework to guide investment decisions and prioritised 11 facility development projects significant to the region.
The first of these priority projects is under construction and due for completion at the end of June 2017.  The Rototuna Indoor Recreation Centre represents a significant achievement for the collaborative partners and is the first of two Indoor Courts for Hamilton City prioritised by the plan. 

The Rototuna Indoor Recreation Centre is a joint investment partnership between Hamilton City Council and the Ministry of Education.  Built at the recently opened Rototuna High School the facility is a School/Community partnership that will enable both students and the community access to a facility that is significantly greater than either organisation would have developed in isolation.
"The Rototuna Indoor Recreation Centre is now very close to completion. The excitement is building with the Rototuna High Schools students and the community itching to start using it. The partnership approach to build this much needed centre has been a really positive initiative to be part of. I am just as excited as everyone else to see the facility being used for sport, recreation and a space for the community to be active."
Liz Cann, Rototuna Indoor Recreation Centre Manager 
Other priority project success stories for the Regional Sports Facility Plan include progress with the Cambridge Municipal Pool development, currently Waipa council are in consultation with the community for this facility development; additional Indoor Court Facility developments in Te Aroha and Thames; progress with a Regional Aquatics Strategy; joint working and collaboration for additional fields in Rototuna; and the development of a Regional Gymsports Facilities Plan. 

Focus in the delivery of the Facilities Plan has been recognised for increasing awareness and understanding of the sport sector, increasing the professional approach to the delivery of feasibility and business case development and increasing sector partnerships and communication.  Partners in the plan have been able to work together on locally led projects including exciting partner projects for the development of an indoor court facility at the Te Kuiti High School and the resurfacing of tennis courts at Paeroa College.

Social Enterprise to Strengthen Waikato’s Position as the National Home of Sporting Excellence

PodiumLodge.jpgMoving Waikato 2025 has a key focus on the Waikato being recognised as the National Home of Sporting Excellence. Podium Lodge, brought together by the Brian Perry Charitable Trust, is designed to support and connect the regions High Performance vision.  The project has been explored in partnership with key stakeholders and is due to open in December 2017.
“The Podium Lodge is being developed as a social enterprise initiative of the Brian Perry Charitable Trust. The Lodge is being built to support Waipa’s world-class sporting facilities by providing a brand new 86-bed accommodation facility. The Lodge will feature a range of room types and supporting facilities and is within easy reach of both the Avantidrome and Lake Karapiro. Podium will provide quality short or long term accommodation for individuals and groups with a unique focus on athletes, sports teams and those wanting a healthy and relaxing environment”. Jen Palmer, Brian Perry Charitable Trust
The Podium Lodge will open in December 2017. Email Jennifer Palmer on for more information