Following the recent announcement from Sport New Zealand regarding its focus on children (Tamariki) and young people (Rangitahi), Sport Waikato are excited to announce the expansion of the This is ME® Secondary Schools programme, which will be supported by Sport New Zealand’s Young Women’s Activation Fund.
Sport Waikato is one of nine organisations nationally to be invested in to create opportunities for young women aged 12 to 18 to increase their time spent being physically active and to take up leadership opportunities in play, active recreation and sport.
Launched in 2018, the This is ME® Secondary School Programme has been operating across four secondary schools in two districts of the Waikato region – Te Kuiti High School, Waihi College, Piopio College and Paeroa College.
The programme invovles This is ME® representatives working in partnership with schools, local sport, recreation and physical activity providers and young women themselves to create opportunities for female students to be active in ways that are exciting and relevant in order to reverse the downward trend in participation.
In so doing, This is ME® works to establish female leaders in the school setting, while working alongside these young women to co-design and co-deliver inclusive and supportive opportunities for activity.
Simultaneously, the programme is used as a springboard for discussions with key secondary school influencers (Principals, PE Teachers and Sports Coordinators) about the need for structural change in sport and physical activity provision and delivery in the education setting.
Across the lifespan of the programme, student-designed and led initiaitves have included colour festivals, lunchtime activities (and subsequently, increased school connections with community providers) such as boxing, Zumba, yoga, pilates, Quick-Rip Rugby (modified-hybrid of Ripper and Rugby 7s), Steptember challenges, as well as important conversations about school event delivery (e.g. cross-country).
The Young Women’s Activation funding will now allow for the regional expansion of This is ME® and support to be offered to secondary schools across the Waikato region with the goal of encouraging more young women to move more their way.
Expansion of This is ME® is set to occur across the secondary school space over a three year period, and the team are excited to be able to support Sport Waikato’s secondary school partners to understand the needs of young women so as to counteract the significant drop-off in participation that occurs among this group.
If you have any questions about the programme, or a desire to be involved, please contact Amy Marfell, This is ME® Initiaitve Lead, at firstname.lastname@example.org