Sport Waikato’s Regional Coaching Advisor Youth, Katie Horne, is working to introduce the Good Sports initiative through identifying a small range of communities and sports organisations who have showed interest in starting a conversation around youth sport, and how as adult influencers we are influencing their experiences both positively and negatively.
Good Sports believes we need to raise adults’ awareness about their behaviours in children’s sport, and if necessary, promote a positive shift in that behaviour.
During the past eight months, the Coaching & Talent team at Sport Waikato have been working with key members in the communities of Putaruru, Leamington, Morrinsville, Thames Junior Rugby and St Columba’s, hosting Good Sports forums and helping to embed the philosophy into their youth sport environments. They are also supporting Netball Waikato Bay of Plenty and Waikato Rugby Union with Good Sports messaging in their current workshops.
The key to meaningful conversations within the forums has been achieved through creating a disorientating dilemma for reflection and discussion, introduction of the Good Sports Spine’s Climate of Performance and Climate of Development, further understanding how the five needs of the child (inspiration, connection, empowerment, play and variety) can be met through adult awareness of their attitudes and behaviours.
While we utilise powerful videos for disorientation, they have a dominant American perspective on them and it has been difficult to connect them with the reality of what New Zealand is experiencing. Throughout the conversations, the community has shown a real desire to hear local stories.
We worked with young children between the ages of 7 and 13 from a variety of schools, and talked to key adults who are engaged in youth sport to share their perspective and stories in order to develop these videos. Moving forward we will use the videos to share our key messages, create honest conversations and let the voices of our Waikato children and adults who are involved with youth sport be heard.