Findings

Primary schools

Availability, accessibility and participation

Figure 1 shows that primary schools reported that KiwiSport funding had increased the sports opportunities (76 percent to at least some extent) and also the number of students participating in organised sport (81 percent to at least some extent).

Figure 1: Increase in sports opportunities and student participation in organised sport

figure 1 is a bar graph called Increase in sports opportunities and student participation in organised sport. The x-axis is called percent of primary schools and is ranged from 0-100 at intervals of 20. The y-axis is labelled with four categories and each of these catergories has two bars the first is increased availablity of sports oppurtunities and the second is increased number of students participating. The respective figures for these are as follows: Large extent 32% and 35%, Some extent 44% and 46%, Limited extent 18% and 12% and finally unsure 6% and 7%.

About 40 percent of primary schools had supported swimming development by using KiwiSport funding to pay for or subsidise professional lessons, refresher courses for staff, transport to local pools, or fees for interschool swimming events. The main sports or activities introduced or extended were rugby, netball, soccer, hockey, tennis, fitness, cricket, touch, athletics, basketball, gymnastics and golf.

Approximately one-third of primary schools reported that KiwiSport funding had increased the availability of sports opportunities and student participation to a large extent. Examples of the most common uses of funding by these schools were providing a wider variety of sports, events with clusters of local schools, links with local clubs, and purchasing equipment. Funding had also been used for coordinators/organisers in schools or locally, to access specialist instructors, to upskill teachers, to subsidise travel costs or fees, and to provide lunchtime activities.

Schools with a limited impact noted they already had high participation or change had occurred for only one or two sports. A few schools said participation had increased at clubs outside the school or they had used the funding for transport.

Impact on physical education programmes and skills development

Figure 2 shows that 80 percent of primary schools reported that KiwiSport had a large or some impact on their physical education/activity programme. Eighty-three percent identified a large impact on helping students develop skills to participate effectively in sport.

Figure 2: Impact on physical education programmes and helping skills development

 figure 2 is a bar graph called Impact on physical education programmes and helping skills development. The x-axis is called percent of primary schools and is ranged from 0-100 at intervals of 20. The y-axis is labelled with five categories and each of these catergories has two bars the first is impact on physical education programme and the second is impact on helping skills development. The respective figures for these are as follows: Large impact 28% and 37%, Some impact 52% and 46%, Limited impact 12% and 10%, No impact 4% and 3% and finally unsure 4% and 4%.

Many schools were now providing more sports, which meant a wider range of student interests were being met and more students were participating.

Many of the schools that reported a large impact noted that specialist coaches and instructors, provided through KiwiSport, had benefited both teachers and students. Teachers were now more knowledgeable about how to teach fundamental skills and this had resulted in enhanced PE programmes that catered for a range of ability levels. Additional equipment had been purchased and teachers were more confident about its use. A few schools commented on the usefulness of manuals or teaching resources provided by RSTs or sports advisers.

Schools reporting a limited impact noted they already had a good PE programme, KiwiSport complemented their existing programme, or teachers had been upskilled in some sports. A few schools said measuring skill development was difficult.

Forty-one percent of primary schools said the time spent on physical education had increased, while 58 percent said it had not changed.

Benefits of KiwiSport

In response to a question about KiwiSport’s benefits, many primary schools identified the funding itself [5], being able to provide a wider range of opportunities for students, and access to specialists. These had resulted in teachers being upskilled, programmes improved with games being modified to cater for varying ability levels, and increased participation. Students increased their skills development, confidence, fitness, engagement, and social skills. A few schools wrote about purchasing equipment, increased involvement of parents, and students participating in events organised by local coordinators.

Challenges of KiwiSport

The main challenges primary schools identified were the funding available [6] (limited amount, short-term only, application process), involving parents in supporting, coaching and providing transport, accessing specialists, and fitting sports and PE into a crowded curriculum where literacy and numeracy were priorities.

Some schools wrote about challenges related to their sports programme such as achieving a balance between ‘taster’ activities and longer term involvement, and the balance between competitive and recreational sport. Others wrote about deciding which of the many sports available to include, and meeting a wide range of student needs and interests.

Other challenges identified by small numbers of schools included building teacher capacity, the cost of transport, and sustaining the programme.

Secondary schools

Availability, accessibility and participation

Figure 3 shows that most secondary schools reported that the KiwiSport funding had increased the availability and accessibility of sports opportunities (90 percent) and the number of students participating in organised sport (84 percent).

Figure 3: Increase in sports opportunities and student participation in organised sport

figure 3 is a bar graph called Increase in sports opportunities and student participation in organised sport. The x-axis is called percent of primary schools and is ranged from 0-100 at intervals of 20. The y-axis is labelled with four categories and each of these catergories has two bars the first is increased availablity of sports oppurtunities and the second is increased number of students participating. The respective figures for these are as follows: Large extent 31% and 37%, Some extent 59% and 47%, Limited extent 9% and 16% and finally unsure 0% and 0%. 

Seven of the 11 secondary schools that reported a large increase in sports opportunities had developed links with community clubs who coached their students and provided access to their facilities.

Eight of the 12 secondary schools that reported a large increase in the number of students participating had employed a sports coordinator or had extended the hours of their current coordinator. These people promoted sport in the school, introduced new sports, provided lunchtime activities, encouraged individuals or groups of students to participate, and coordinated teams.

Overall, schools introduced new sports including non-traditional sports (such as archery, bowls or orienteering), provided lunchtime sports activities and competitions, and set up additional teams in existing sports.

Three of the five secondary schools with a limited impact said they were already strong sporting schools with high participation. One school noted there had been a small increase and the other that the increase was short-term only.

Impact on physical education programme and skills development

Figure 4 shows that almost half the secondary schools reported that KiwiSport had at least some impact on their physical education programme, and one-quarter reported a limited impact. Seventy-five percent of schools reported at least some impact on students’ skill development.

Three-quarters of secondary schools said time on PE had not changed, 19 percent stated that it had increased, and six percent (two schools) reported that it had decreased.

Figure 4: Impact on physical education programmes and helping skills development

figure 4 is a bar graph called Impact on physical education programmes and helping skills development. The x-axis is called percent of primary schools and is ranged from 0-100 at intervals of 20. The y-axis is labelled with five categories and each of these catergories has two bars the first is impact on physical education programme and the second is impact on helping skills development. The respective figures for these are as follows: Large impact 16% and 25%, Some impact 31% and 50%, Limited impact 25% and 13%, No impact 19% and 39% and finally unsure 9% and 3%.

The seven secondary schools reporting a large impact on the physical education programme said sports complemented their PE programme and more students wanted to be coaches. The 11 schools reporting a large impact on skill development commented on coaches attending courses, programmes for students to develop coaching skills, participation in local and regional competitions, and improved skills in particular sports.

The schools reporting a limited impact noted a change in one or two sports, at only some year levels, or the changes had just been introduced.

Benefits of KiwiSport

In response to a question about KiwiSport’s benefits, secondary schools identified four closely linked aspects that benefited students. These were the KiwiSport funding, employing a sports coordinator, providing more opportunities, and subsidising fees so that more students could participate.

Challenges of KiwiSport

The main challenge which secondary schools identified related to funding. Schools wrote about the challenge of maintaining current programmes or employing a sports coordinator if funding was not available. A few schools were concerned about access to the Regional Partnership Fund and the time involved in applying for funding. The uncertainty about funding from one year to the next meant they were unsure about sustaining their current programmes.

Contact with Regional Sports Trusts

Schools were asked about contact with their local RST, applications for funding, and programmes with which they had been involved. More than 80 percent of schools had had contact with the RST that operates in their area (85 percent of primary and 82 percent of secondary schools). The RST had initiated the contact in 41 percent of schools, the school in 20 percent of schools, and both had initiated contact in 34 percent of schools. A few schools had made contact through local clusters or Project Energise in the Waikato.

One-quarter of schools had applied to the RST for funding (22 percent of primary and 44 percent of secondary schools). Similar percentages of both groups of schools said their funding application was successful (78 percent primary, 71 percent secondary).[7]

The questionnaire listed nine programmes/activities and asked schools with which they had been involved. Over 90 percent of all schools had been involved with at least one of the nine, with 46 percent involved with five-to-nine programmes. Secondary schools were more likely to be involved with five or more programmes – 71 percent, compared with 42 percent of primary schools.

Approximately two-thirds of all schools had been involved with movement and basic skills development (69 percent), upskilling teachers (67 percent), and local competitions and events (64 percent). Fifty-eight percent had modified sports and games, and around 45 percent had been involved with coach and volunteer development, enhancing school-club links and student coaching and leadership programmes.

Figure 5 shows that primary schools were more likely than secondary schools to be involved with movement and basic skills programmes, upskilling teachers, and modifying sports and games. Secondary schools were more likely to be involved with enhancing school-club links, student coaching and leadership programmes, local competitions and events, coach and volunteer development, and providing sport for non-participating youth.

Figure 5: Programmes and activities with which schools had been involved

figure 5 is a bar graph called Programmes and activities with which schools had been involved. The x-axis is called percent of primary schools and is ranged from 0-100 at intervals of 20. The y-axis is labelled with nine categories and each of these catergories has two bars the first is primary schools and the second is secondary schools. The respective figures for these are as follows: movement and basic skill devleopment 71% and 53%, upskilling teachers 71% and 37%, modified sport and games 61% and 34%, Local competitions and events 62% and 78%, coach and volunteer development 40% and 60%, Enhancing school-club links 38% and 78%, Student coaching and leadership 40% and 72%, sport for non participating youth 15% and 50% and lastly addressing drop off at transition 5% and 28%. 

Seventy-two percent of schools commented on the RST’s role, with far more commenting positively than negatively.

Many schools noted that their RST was helpful, supportive or responsive. Schools wrote that the RST:

  • organised activities, programmes and events
  • developed the skills of staff and coaches
  • communicated regularly through useful newsletters and emails
  • provided equipment.

Some (mostly primary) schools were unaware of the services and funding available through the RST, and a few schools (both primary and secondary) were critical of the amount of funding or the application process.

Main findings for different types of schools

Rural and small schools

Schools in a rural location (84 schools) and small schools (57 small, 27 very small) were less likely to report that KiwiSport had led to a large increase in sports opportunities and student participation, and a large impact on helping students to develop skills. Some schools noted that they already provided sporting opportunities and other schools said students were now more enthusiastic.

The sample included 60 schools that were both small and rural, 58 of them being primary schools. Almost half of these schools wrote about challenges caused by their distance from larger centres. The distance increased their travel costs and time, and reduced access to specialist coaches. The small number of students meant they did not have enough students for some team sports and received only a small amount of KiwiSport direct funding.

Many of these schools wrote very positively about the helpfulness and responsiveness of the RST staff. They valued the events RSTs organised to provide sports opportunities for clusters of local schools. Some schools reported using the funding for swimming lessons, equipment, and to subsidise fees and transport costs.

Low decile schools

The 68 low decile schools were more likely than high and medium decile schools to report large increases in sports opportunities and participation, and a large impact on their PE programme and support for skills development. For example, 46 percent of these low decile schools noted a large increase in sports opportunities, compared with 27 percent of other schools.

Many low decile schools reported using KiwiSport funding to purchase equipment, subsidise fees, and pay for transport. Some said they had families who could not afford to pay sports fees. Other low decile schools had funded swimming lessons, provided sporting opportunities by working with local clubs and other schools, and employed a coordinator to organise programmes and lunchtime activities.

Over half the schools said teachers had been upskilled, and some wrote about the benefit of outside instructors or coaches providing professional development for teachers and programmes for students.