SPORT THOUGHT

Sport Northland's vision for the region has recently been amended to now include "play and active recreation', which we believe better describes what we do as an organisation.

"All Northlanders leading better lives through involvement in play, active recreation and sport."

Here is some detail on the first objective in our strategy, namely Participation and Performance.

Quality delivery of participation and performance activities is enabling and sustaining more Northlanders on the pathway to participation and performance.

This objective is essentially about the active recreation and sporting activities we run that directly target the end-user – we deliver these activities primarily due to no other organisation doing so in Northland.

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In terms of participation, the activity areas where we deliver directly to Northlanders are Events, Water Safety and Green Prescription.

The 10 mass participation events we run annually include seven events in the run/walk series (Chilltech Beach to Basin, Dargaville Veterinary Centre Dargaville, Jennian Homes Paihia, Hot Printz Parihaka Trail Half Marathon, Ray White Kaitaia, Northcloud Whangarei Half Marathon and ASB Kerikeri Half Marathon), one triathlon (Fireco Kai Iwi Lakes), one off-road event (Fullers Great Sights Bay of Islands Beast) and one corporate challenge (Ray White Hatea Loop Challenge).

Around 8-9000 people enter these 10 events annually, with over 80 per cent of them Northlanders and over half of them being first-time entrants to at least one event.

Our secondary schools team organises over 80 events across 32 sports codes, including school versions of the Kai Iwi Lakes Triathlon and the Bay of Islands Beast. Over 8500 students participate in these annually.

Green Prescription is an NDHB funded Northland-wide initiative where a medical professional gives written advice to their patient to become more physically active. Our Healthy Lifestyles team then provides personalised and practical support to these patients to increase their physical activity.

Over 3000 Northlanders receive support annually, with nearly 60 per cent of them still being active 6-8 months later.

Delivery of the water safety programme across Northland supports more than 70 schools and nearly 500 teachers to help their students learn to swim and survive in water. Over 11,000 students benefit annually.

In terms of Performance activities, the activity areas where we deliver directly to Northlanders are the Educare Northland Sports Talent Hub and Sports Awards functions.

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The Talent Hub supports Northland's best young athletes to better prepare them to enter high performance sport and grants funding through the Kauri Club to the next tier of young sportspeople to help them advance their sporting careers.

Sport Northland organises four sports awards functions to acknowledge, recognise and celebrate the best Northland sports achievements annually – three regional (Northland and Northland Secondary Schools) and two district awards functions (Kaipara and Far North); and partners with Te Kahu o Taonui to organise the Te Taitokerau Maori Sports Awards.

Across the five functions nearly 1000 athletes are nominated and they are attended by around 1500 people.