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Rebecca Dubber on Improving Youth Sport

Rebecca Dubber is a New Zealand Paralympic bronze medalist, who is passionate about getting more young people involved in sport and breaking down barriers. She shares her story and her role as a Balance is Better Champion.

Rebecca played a lot of sports growing up before deciding to specialise in swimming. This helped pave the way to her having an amazing career as a para swimmer, and achieve her dream of not only attending the Paralympics but winning a Paralympic medal in the Women’s 100m Backstroke S7 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Recently retired from para swimming, Rebecca works for the Halberg Foundation and is one of Sport NZ’s Balance is Better Champions where she helps spread the word, create better opportunities for young people to stay in sport and work with organisations to adopt a Balance is Better philosophy – committing to this statement of intent.

In the video, Rebecca talks about the value of exploring multiple sports, focusing on having fun and not to feel pressured to specialise before you’re ready.

Rebecca Dubber 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?

  • Playing many sports helped Rebecca succeed in swimming
  • It’s important to love what you do, and young people should explore options before taking a performance mindset
  • Be proud of your kids despite results, reinforce values and behaviours that are far more important than the outcome
  • Administrators and coaches should be focussed on creating happy, well-rounded young people

Image credit: Photosport NZ/Sport NZ

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