Emphasise fun, development in NZ sport to ease player decline
An American sports administrator is certain big changes to youth sport in New Zealand will turn around the overwhelming trend of declining playing numbers. In September, several major national sporting bodies announced a significant shift in their approach to youth sport. New Zealand Rugby, Netball and Cricket are among a group pledging to take emphasis away from specialisation and representative teams and placing it on fun and development. Ice Hockey in the US began similar changes 10 years ago. The technical director behind that programme, Ken Martel, is in New Zealand to speak to Kiwi administrators and coaches, and he told Clay Wilson the change in direction has undoubtedly been the right move.