Otago continues to lead the way in secondary school sport participation rates

Otago’s participation rate across all secondary school sports remains the highest across all regions in New Zealand, with 62% of Otago’s students involved in school sport.

62% of Otago’s students participated in secondary school sport. This saw Otago remain the highest rate across the country’s 19 regions, and is well above the national average of 47%.

Otago’s participation rates are also the highest of all regions for both girls and boys involvement. Girls participation for Otago at 60% is slightly lower than boys (63%), however this remains well above the national girls average of 43%.

Otago’s overall participation rate of 62% represents a 1% decrease over 2021, and a 4% decrease from pre-Covid 2019. National participation rates decreased at a slightly higher level.

Basketball remains the secondary school sport with the most participants in Otago, with 1,688 total (64% male). This is followed by Volleyball, Netball, Rugby Union, and Hockey.

The findings are based on just-released national census data for secondary school sport participation in 2022, collected by School Sport NZ in partnership with Sport NZ.

Read the full insights report for a detailed look at:

  • Participation trends
  • Which sports are the most popular in Otago
  • Regional participation trends over the last two decades
  • Where coaching, managing, and officiating involvement is coming from

Read the full report HERE

Only 18% of Otago rangatahi are meeting physical activity guidelines of being physically active for at least 60 minutes every day.

Voice of Rangatahi is an annual nationwide survey that gives secondary school students the chance to have their say about their physical activity experiences, particularly within a secondary school setting. The survey gives us important insights into their experiences, including:

  •  - Only 18% of Otago rangatahi are meeting physical activity guidelines for young people of being physically active for at least 60 minutes every day

  •  - Physical activity levels decline steadily as our rangatahi journey through secondary school, with this particularly evident for our female rangatahi

  •  - There is a strong correlation between physical activity levels and general happiness and wellbeing levels of our rangatahi

  •  - Nearly half of all students said “feeling too busy” is their biggest barrier to participating in more physical activity

  •  - Females and gender-diverse rangatahi are much less likely to be satisfied with their overall experience of physical activity at school

  •  - Improved facilities was the most desired area of improvement, particularly for females and gender-diverse students. Other aspects that students want to see improved include the range of activities on offer, removing cost barriers, and being given assistance to help  them develop or fulfil their potential.

Read the full Voice of Rangatahi – Otago Insights report here

Morgan Jarvis
Insights Lead

Ph: 027 695 8001