Latest Insights

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 63% of Otago's students involved in school sport.

The findings are based on just-released national census data for secondary school sport participation in 2021, collected by School Sport New Zealand in partnership with Sport New Zealand.

Otago's participation rate of 63% is the highest across the country's 19 regions for the second year running, and is well above the national average of 49%.

Otago’s participation rates are also the highest of all regions for both girls and boys involvement. Girls participation for Otago at 62% is slightly lower than boys (64%), however this is still well above the national girls average of 46%.

Otago’s overall participation rate of 63% represents a 1% increase over 2020, and a 3% decrease from 2019. These trends were seen across the country, reflecting the impact of Covid-19.

Basketball is the secondary school sport with the most participants in Otago, with 1,699 total (63% male). This is followed by Volleyball, Rugby Union, and Netball. Netball remains the country's most popular secondary school sport, a spot it has held for the last eight

years. It is followed by Basketball, Rugby Union, Volleyball, and Football. Sports which have most noticeably increased in student involvement nationwide in recent years include Volleyball, Basketball, and Badminton.

Read the full insights report for a detailed look at:

  • participation trends
  • which sports are the most popular in Otago
  • national trends over the last two decades
  • where coaching, managing, and officiating involvement is coming from

View The Full NZSSC 2021 Census Here

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