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Mike Dawson on Improving Youth Sport

Mike Dawson is a former Canoe Slalom Olympian. In this video, Mike discusses his perspective on why Balance is Better in youth sport.

Mike has competed on the world stage in his sport, but is also one of Sport NZ’s Balance is Better Champions helping influence mindsets in youth sport and work with organisations to adopt a Balance is Better philosophy and commit to this statement of intent.

In the video below, Mike talks about the impact of multiple sports in his career and how important it was to continue a variety of sport even when he decided to specialise and pursue his canoeing goals.

There are some great messages in this video for sports leaders and coaches from Mike.

  • Adults have a responsibility to create the best possible environment for young people and should remember why we play sport
  • Don’t specialise too soon, and aim to stay in sport for life as a participant or competitor
  • We can learn from experiences of athletes to better improve the New Zealand sporting landscape
  • Sport provides opportunity to develop skills, learn, make social connections and apply these lessons across codes

Read More

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Image credit: photosport.co.nz