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““Sport is neither inherently good nor bad; the positiveexperiences of sport do not result from participation butfrom the nature of the experience. In the hands of the rightpeople with the right attitudes, sport can be a positive,character-building experience.– Dr Stuart Robbins, Straight talk About Children in Sport, 1996.CONTENTSIntroduction . 3The 10 Good Practice Principles – quick look . 5PRINCIPLE 1: Create a safe social and physical environment . 6PRINCIPLE 2: Treat children and young people with dignity and respect. 7PRINCIPLE 3: Model good behaviour and values . 8PRINCIPLE 4: Be consistent. 9PRINCIPLE 5: Become familiar with developmental ages and stages . 10PRINCIPLE 6: Let children play . 11PRINCIPLE 7: Ensure there is full participation and inclusion . 12PRINCIPLE 8: Modify or adapt activities to suit the ability of participants . 13PRINCIPLE 9: Provide an appropriate amount of activity . 14PRINCIPLE 10: Prepare children and young people to compete successfully. 15The Roles and Influence of Parents .16The Roles and Influence of Coaches .17The Roles and Influence of Teachers .19The Roles and Influence of Peers .20The 10 Good Practice Principles – Summary Table .212

GOOD PRACTICE PRINCIPLESCHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN SPORT AND RECREATIONINTRODUCTIONThis document sets out 10 principles for delivering sport and recreation to children (0-12 years)and young people (13-18 years).These principles should be applied by coaches, parents, instructors, teachers and administratorsinvolved in leading, supporting or managing sport and recreation opportunities for children andyoung people.Children and young people view sport and recreation differently from adults. It is wellresearched that they generally want to: have fun improve their existing skills and learn new skills be with friends or make new friends be challenged experience success become physically fit and healthy.Research shows that young people highly value the intrinsic rewards gained from participatingin sport and recreation. The rewards that young participants gain from learning a new skill, orsimply being involved in activities with their friends, often mean more than extrinsic rewardssuch as winning trophies or awards.We encourage children and young people to participate in sport and recreation because: it can be a fun and enjoyable way to spend time movement is important for brain development and physical development being active contributes to maintaining physical and mental health, includingrelieving stress and anxiety participation in sport and recreation can contribute positively to self-esteem and selfworth being involved in sport is often seen as a strong social asset sport and recreation opportunities provide an environment where children andyoung people can learn the values of teamwork, goal setting, self-discipline,following rules, respect for others, respect for the environment, coping with winningand losing, and success and failure.Participant-centred approachChildren and young people vary widely in terms of their physical, social, emotional and cognitivedevelopment and in their motivation for participating in sport and recreation.Sport NZ advocates for a participant-centred approach to providing sport and recreationopportunities for children and young people. This is because we understand the immense valuethat children and young people can receive from participating in quality sport and recreation,why they participate, and also understand that they are not all the same.This approach requires sport and recreation providers to listen to and consider the needs, wantsand perspectives of children and young people when planning and implementing programmes.It means recognising and catering for individual differences in terms of development, ability andother factors that may impact on participation.3

Creating a safe and supportive environmentChildren and young people need an environment that is safe and supportive, where they areencouraged to be the best they can be and can enjoy what they are doing. Again research tellsus that children and young people do not enjoy experiences where: there is an over-emphasis on winning from both parents and coaches only the best players get to play or participate consistently some participants are favoured over others they perceive not to be on good terms with the person in charge they cannot participate with their friends they fear being hurt they don’t feel safe they do not have enough fun they don’t feel that they are improving or developing their skills.Parents, coaches and instructors have a major influence on the nature and quality of theenvironment where children and young people participate. They can significantly influencethe decisions children and young people make, including the choice to keep participating or togive up. Quality coaching and positive parental involvement are essential for a positive sportexperience.Understanding stages of developmentThe Sport and Recreation Pathway (below) provides a generic model of participant and athletedevelopment. Many sports have used this to develop their own specific development model.Providers of sport-specific opportunities for children and young people should become familiarwith their own sport’s pathway, as this will help guide the learning and development of mTalent DevelopmentTalentDevelopmentFoundation Pathway 4KiwiSportFundamental movement skillsSchool sportNSO community sport plansLearnExplore dAthletePathway

GOOD PRACTICE PRINCIPLESCHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN SPORT AND RECREATIONTHE 10 GOOD PRACTICE PRINCIPLES – A QUICK LOOKThe list below identifies 10 good practice principles and identifies the aspects of participationthat are impacted by each principle. In general the principles apply to all age groups howeverthere are two exceptions – Principles 6 and 9 – these are noted in the table below.PrincipleFocused OnRelevant Stageand Development1.Create a safe social and physicalenvironment Quality experiencesAll2.Treat children and youngpeople with dignity and respect Participant-centred approachAllModel good behaviour andvalues Role modelling/Values3. ValuesAll Learning and development Leadership development4.Be consistent Quality experiencesAll Cooperation between providers5.6.7.Become familiar withdevelopmental ages and stages Participant-centredLet children play Importance of playExplore Fun and enjoymentLearn EquityAllEnsure there is full participationand inclusionAll Player development pathways Fun and enjoyment Leadership development8.9.10.Modify or adapt activities tosuit the ability of participants LearningProvide an appropriate amountof activity Fun and enjoymentPrepare children and youngpeople to compete successfully Participant-centredAll Fun and enjoymentLearnEarly ParticipateAll Fun and enjoyment Winning vs. success5

PRINCIPLE 1:CREATE A SAFE SOCIAL AND PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENTChildren and young people must feel physically and socially safe when they participate in sportand recreation. Sport and recreation providers have responsibility for protecting children andyoung people from physical, social and emotional harm.Keeping participants safe covers a range of areas including: the physical environment – facilities, equipment, techniques, weather conditions the social environment – the different relationships between participants, coaches orinstructors, and parents the emotional environment – bullying, promoting positive feelings about individuals,preventing any forms of abuse.In practice6 There must be plans and procedures in place to ensure that potential risks areminimised, removed or managed effectively to protect participants from harm Suitable facilities should be available and accessible for children and young people’ssport and recreation Check that facilities and grounds are in good order and safe to use Avoid repetitive drills, these are likely to cause injury and boredom Ensure that children and young people treat each other with respect and fairness Ensure the availability of safe and appropriate equipment, including protective gearwhere necessary Positively encourage the development of correct technique, and appropriate physicaland technical skills.

GOOD PRACTICE PRINCIPLESCHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN SPORT AND RECREATIONPRINCIPLE 2:TREAT CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE WITH DIGNITYAND RESPECTChildren and young people expect to be treated sensitively and respectfully during their sportand recreation experiences. There is no place for words or actions that can damage a child oryoung person’s self-esteem or impact negatively on their enjoyment of sport and recreation.Constant criticism, put-downs and being set up to fail are not only examples of poor behaviourbut also diminish participants’ enjoyment of the activity and can often lead to dropping-out andpoor self-esteem.In practice Where possible, children and young people should be given a chance to contributeideas, especially about decisions that affect them Create an environment where all participants are equal and accepted Recognise and value the social and cultural perspectives that young participantsbring with them Show an interest in the child or young person’s life and be sensitive to the stresses,demands and challenges of childhood and adolescence Don’t mock or demean young participants and avoid stereotyping.7

PRINCIPLE 3:MODEL GOOD BEHAVIOUR AND VALUESChildren and young people have the opportunity to learn and develop positive values andattitudes associated with sport and recreation through their participation experiences. Forexample, participation in sport and recreation creates opportunities for participants to learnabout the importance of fair play and positive side-line behaviour, how to cope with winningand losing, and about the rewards that can come with effort. This can only happen if thesevalues and attitudes are encouraged or modelled by coaches, teachers, instructors and parents.In practice8 Set and model expectations of behaviour for children, parents, coaches, supportersand officials Encourage parents to positively participate in and contribute to their children’s sportand recreation Always act with integrity Understand that children and young people value fairness, and that they haveexpectations of adults in terms of behaviour and support Consider the concepts of winning and success from the perspective of children andyoung people, rather than imposing adult views Remember that children and young people’s sport and recreation is about theirinterests and aspirations, not those of their parents or coaches.

GOOD PRACTICE PRINCIPLESCHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN SPORT AND RECREATIONPRINCIPLE 4:BE CONSISTENTChildren and young people can participate in activities delivered by a range of providers.Coordination between providers means there will be consistency of delivery in terms of rulesapplied, modifications and competition groupings, all of which are beneficial to children andyoung people. Coordination may also allow providers to share equipment, facility hire andcoaching.Developing consistency of messages and provision of complementary opportunities allows forsmooth transitions between providers, such between as schools and clubs, and supports thesport and recreation development pathway.In practice Develop connections with other providers to ensure consistent messages andapproaches to sport and recreation delivery Consider the role of regular communication, using shared resources, joint policydevelopment and shared facilities Prepare children and young people to compete successfully as ways to developcloser links.9

PRINCIPLE 5:BECOME FAMILIAR WITH DEVELOPMENTAL AGESAND STAGESDevelopmental age and stage, and the concept of readiness, play an important part indetermining when a child or young person should start to play or progress in sport andrecreation. Often decisions are based on a participant’s physical development. However,readiness will depend on a child or young person’s social, emotional and cognitive development,as well as their physical development. While the majority of children pass through the samedevelopmental phases, each child develops at their own pace.Chronological age is a poor indicator of development and progress, especially in sport. There isno magic age at which a child is ready to play organised sport. Evidence suggests that successin sport does not depend on how early a child gets involved in sport, but is associated with achild participating when they are optimally ready to participate. Young brains and bodies are notequipped for competition or organised team sports. Muscles and nerves take time to develop toa point where a child can learn and perform skills that lend themselves to organised sport.Early sport and recreation activities should focus on skill development and play until anindividual shows signs of readiness for competitive sport. Readiness is determined by a variety offactors, including (but not limited to): expressing a desire to play and participate having the ability to receive and understand instruction being able to work with others understanding competition having the physical attributes such as the physical size, strength, skill level, andcoordination required to meet the demands of the activity.There is little evidence to suggest that early specialisation makes an athlete better at sport.Specialising in one sport or activity too early is potentially damaging to young people. Researchsuggests that children should experience a wide range of activities, rather than narrowing downtheir choices too soon. Children who particip

GOOD PRACTICE PRINCIPLES CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN SPORT AND RECREATION. INTRODUCTION. This document sets out 10 principles for delivering sport and recreation to children (0-12 years) and young people (13-18 years). These principles should be applied by coaches, parents, instructors, teachers and administrators