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What does quality look like for young people?

How do you know what quality looks like when it comes to sport? In this article, we unpack what quality means in terms of: quality experiences; quality opportunities and quality support. 

Sport NZ’s vision is to enrich and inspire the lives of young people by creating a lifelong love of sport and being physically active. We believe that quality support, opportunities and experiences are vital to achieve this. 

We encourage all organisations involved in sport and physical activity for young people to explore what quality means to them. The following indicators can be used as a starting point for a facilitated conversation with young people, coaches, parents, sports organisations, local authorities and schools – in fact any person or organisation likely to impact on the sport and physical activity experiences of young people. 

Quality Experiences 

Quality experiences develop young people holistically. That is, a quality experience will develop a young person’s physical literacy by meeting their needs and aspirations.  

Key concepts underpinning a quality experiences, include: 

  • Positivity 
  • Fun 
  • Inclusivity 
  • Appropriate levels of challenge 
  • Young people feel valued 

What do quality experiences look like? 

  • Young people engage in physical activity for fun 
  • Young people are exploring and able to be creative through physical activity 
  • Young people are provided with a wide variety of experiences that allow them to test their boundaries 
  • Experiences include elements of risk taking 
  • Families play together 
  • Programmes meet young peoples’ physical, emotional, social, cognitive and spiritual needs 
  • Young people are continuously involved and included in sport and physical activity opportunities 
  • Young people are committed to being involved in physical activity 
  • Club and school practices reflect Fair Play 

Quality Opportunities 

Quality opportunities are provided at the right time, place and cost for that young person.  

Key concepts underpinning a quality opportunity, includes: 

  • Consistency 
  • Safety 
  • Minimisation of barriers 
  • Accessibility 
  • Designed to meet abilities and aspirations 

What do quality opportunities look like? 

  • A balance of play, competition and recreation opportunities are available to all young people 
  • Schools are committed to the importance of and consistent delivery of PE 
  • Community providers work in a coordinated manner 
  • Local places and spaces are easily accessible to young people 
  • Flexible times for young people to access programmes 
  • Young people have options to participate at levels with which they feel comfortable 
  • The needs of young people are at the centre of provision 
  • Real connections are made between opportunities in local spaces 
  • Young people are encouraged to sample many types of activity 

Quality Support 

Quality support is provided by the people who enable or enhance the quality opportunities and quality experiences for young people.  

People who provide quality support are: 

  • Knowledgeable 
  • Principled 
  • Committed 
  • Encouraging 
  • Relevant 

What does quality support look like? 

  • Teachers have a clear understanding of the PE curriculum 
  • Schools make informed decisions about the use of outside providers 
  • Adults recognise that they have an impact on the young person’s experiences 
  • Staff development is based around principles of working with young people 
  • Coaches are supported with professional development 
  • Positive side-line behaviour is a priority 
  • Young people are encouraged to chose activities that interest them 
  • Adults understand what is an appropriate experience for different life stages 
  • Schools are committed to the importance of and consistent delivery of PE 
  • Community providers work in a coordinated manner 
  • Local places and spaces are easily accessible to young people 
  • Flexible times for young people to access programmes 
  • Young people have options to participate at levels with which they feel comfortable 
  • The needs of young people are at the centre of provision 
  • Real connections are made between opportunities in local spaces 
  • Young people are encouraged to sample many types of activity

Read more: 

How to coach with a Balance is Better philosophy? 

A parent guide to child growth and development 

The Player 

Image Source: Canva

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