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The Home of Youth Sport
in New Zealand

Balance is Better is about creating quality experiences for all young people to keep them active and in the game.


Latest Research: Key Characteristics of The World’s Best Coaches

This article is shared by Player Development Project What characteristics do the world’s best coaches have in common? Player Development Project Lead Researcher, James Vaughan shares insight from a study at the University of Queensland on the key...
For Coaches

Coaching young people with autism

In this article, Special Olympics New Zealand share some key considerations for coaches working with young people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Athletes are the heart of Special Olympics and the programmes on offer allow everyone to find success,...
Balance is Better in Action

Summer of sailing

Throughout next year, the world’s leading sailors will be competing in the Sail Grand Prix, providing ākonga with inspiration to design technologies to harness the power of the wind.  Buoyed by the strong uptake during the America’s Cup, Yachting New...

Athlete Stories

Play them all – Former Tall Black, Dillon Boucher

Former New Zealand basketballer Dillon Boucher knows all about the pressure to perform and succeed in sport.  But it’s not from his own experiences – it’s from the expectation of others that his four children will follow in his footsteps.  “If people see me on...
Balance is Better in Action

CRIC-KIDS steps up to the wicket

Cricket is the first of three Women’s World Cups to be held in New Zealand over the next two years and ākonga across the country can get involved with the tournament through the CRIC-KIDS programme.  CWC2022 has put the programme together...

Welcome to the
home of youth sport
in New Zealand.

to the home
of youth sport
in New Zealand.

Whether you are a parent, coach, administrator or leader
in youth sport, Balance is Better is for you.

Balance is Better offers a fresh way of thinking for those involved in delivering youth sport in New Zealand. With teen participation levels declining, it’s about creating quality experiences for all young people to keep them active and in the game.

Balance is Better focusses on how to encourage participation at all levels and develop skill at the right pace. With a mix of articles, interviews, case studies and videos from specialists, endorsed by Sport New Zealand, Balance is Better is a way to keep up with the play on the latest advice from trusted sources.

Sign up below to receive weekly emails from the Balance is Better team and access to all content across the website.

Balance is Better in Action

Tai Tokerau kāiako sports programme connects clubs and kura

A group of kāiako from Tai Tokerau are lending their expertise to the development of Tākarokaro, a sport engagement programme that supports ākonga to help get everybody in their community active.  The setting could not have been more idyllic when kāiako gathered in the Te Rarawa Rugby Club...

Webinar replay: Getting child safeguarding right

What’s the difference between child safeguarding and child protection? What does good child safeguarding look like? When it comes to putting good child safeguarding policy and procedure in pace, where should my organisation start? We all want to...
Balance is Better in Action

Learning through sport

As the country hosts a series of major sporting events over the next few years, Sport New Zealand is leading a project, called ‘In Our Backyard’, with four national sporting organisations to further shape learning through sport in schools...
Balance is Better in Action

Replacing Year 7 & 8 representative programmes with skill development opportunities for more participants – lessons from the roll out of Netball New Zealand’s Player Development Programme

In this case study, we hear from Netball New Zealand, Netball Central and Netball Wellington Centre about the implementation of the Player Development Programme and its impact on participants. The programme was developed to: (1) provide more 11- and...

What can you
do to help?

Keep up with the play on the latest thinking, advice
and coaching tips from trusted sources.
For Coaches

Keep winning in perspective and focus on developing a love of sport.

For Parents

Working together we can provide a positive sporting environment for our kids.

For Administrators

As leaders we need to be bold and courageous to tackle the change needed.

Leaders & Administrators

How sport can help with students’ wellbeing as they return to school?

We know the value of sport and physical activity is wide-ranging and, in times where lockdowns and alert level restrictions have thrown up challenges, it’s important for school principals, teachers and coordinators to remember these benefits and look forward to school sport getting underway again.   The Value of Sport  Sport...
Balance is Better in Action

Responding to falling participation numbers in under-12 boys rugby – lessons from New Zealand Rugby in changing under-11 boys rugby competition structures

In this case study, we hear from New Zealand Rugby about the change they undertook to the design and delivery of under-11 boys’ rugby competition structures. These changes were brought about in response to national year-on-year declining numbers at under-12 boys age group. This case study illustrates how competition structure...
Balance is Better in Action

Growing secondary school girls cricket in Manawatu

Manawatu Cricket delivers a girls-only cricket competition, held on Wednesday after school in Palmerston North. Open to all secondary school girls, but particularly targeted at year 9 and 10 students, the competition began in term 1 2019. One...
For Coaches

How not to coach – with Led Tasso

Sometimes the best learning comes from people showing us what not to do. In this blog, we look at Ted Lasso’s alter-ego Led Tasso, and examine some of his ‘unhelpful’ coaching behaviours as a lesson for coaches on how not...
Athlete Stories

The journey of Paul Coll (underpinned by lots of hard work)

What value does playing a variety of sport have in youth development? Kiwi squash player, Paul Coll shares some insight into his playing journey. Update: In August 2021, Paul Coll won the British Open, becoming the first New...

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