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Les Elder on Improving Youth Sport

Les Elder is living proof of why Balance is Better.

Black Ferns Captain, Les Elder is one of Sport NZ’s Balance is Better Champions helping spread the word, drive change and when she’s off the rugby field, work with organisations to adopt a Balance is Better philosophy and commit to this statement of intent. Les has been involved in a range of sports and physical activity including netball, touch rugby, squash, cross fit and rugby.  They have all taught her different skills and helped make her the player she is today.

In this video, Les discusses her sports background, the benefits of playing a variety of codes growing up and how she’s contributing to making sure all young people in New Zealand benefit from quality sporting experiences.

Black Ferns Captain Les Elder on why Balance is Better

So what are some of the key takeaways to consider when it comes to creating youth sporting environments for coaches, parents and volunteers?

  • Play a range of sports and avoid specialising too soon
  • Focus on fun, allow young players a chance to fall in love with sport
  • Embrace the social side of sport and the life-long connections and health benefits
  • Skills transfer across codes! A multi-sport approach can be a huge advantage for athletes who do end up showing a desire to pursue sports in a performance setting.
  • What’s the rush? Don’t put pressure on young people to specialise early, allow them to explore sports and find out what they enjoy the most.

Image Credit: Photosport NZ