Making sport accessible to tamariki
Oranga Tamariki and Sport NZ signed a relationship agreement on Monday to improve access to sport and other forms of physical activity for all tamariki and rangatahi.
The agreement is based on a shared vision of better outcomes for tamariki and rangatahi in care, and those at risk of coming into care.
This formalises Sport NZ’s commitment to shift its focus to increase participation of children and young people in care as well children and families with low incomes.
Oranga Tamariki and Sport NZ will work together to provide children in care and those at risk of coming into care with supported opportunities to fully participate in sport, play and recreational opportunities.
There is a strong focus on reducing disparities for tamariki Māori, and opportunities will be created to reconnect siblings so they can take part in activities with their whānau.
What success looks like
The agreement follows a successful pilot programme funded - Ngā Hapori - which was funded by Oranga Tamariki and Sport NZ.
Through this, more than 90 children and young people in care were connected to sports clubs across Gisborne, Auckland and Christchurch from November 2017 to December 2018.
Sport NZ has recently committed to funding, delivering and supporting a second Ngā Hapori pilot.
In another example of the magic that is possible, Stuff tells the story of basketballer Isaiah Wilkins who is working alongside former school principal Alan Harrison helping kids in care step in the right direction.
Wellbeing through sport
Oranga Tamariki Chief Executive Gráinne Moss says the agreement shows the Government’s commitment to improve outcomes for all children and young people.
“Joining a sports team or club can be a life-changing experience for children. Ngā Hapori showed just how important role models and mentorship are for our young people. I encourage our sports people to guide our next generation regardless of whether they’re going to be the next big thing in basketball or rugby.”
Sport NZ CEO Peter Miskimmin says sport and other forms of physical activity have the proven ability to enhance children’s wellbeing, connectedness and academic achievement.
“We’re excited about how we can maximise these benefits for at-risk children through closer collaboration with Oranga Tamariki.”
The signing was also attended by Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft, who is supportive of the partnership.