New Zealand sports clubs survive as women’s inclusion still in progress, survey shows

Despite the impact of the coronavirus, New Zealand sports clubs appear to be in a surprisingly strong financial position according to the latest National Sports Club Survey (NSCS), conducted on behalf of the New Zealand Amateur Sport Association (NZASA).

The recently released survey found that only 5.1% of sports clubs report losing money in 2021 – less than in 2020 (11%) and similar to what was reported in 2019 and 2018.

The NSCS also found that the average number of members of a sports club in New Zealand also rebounded in 2021, with clubs reporting an average of 200 members, which matches this metric in 2018, with a decrease observed. in 2019 (190) and 2020 (175).

Encouraged by the results, NZASA President Gordon Noble-Campbell said, “Sports clubs are essential to the well-being of many New Zealanders.

“At a time when many families and communities face challenges related to COVID, clubs continue to play a key role in connecting communities, even when opportunities to actively participate have been limited for many. “

In terms of boar composition, the NSCS reported that the percentage of people under 30 on a sports club council or committee was only 8%, which is constant over the years. last three years.

In 2019 and 2020, the percentage of women on boards and committees in New Zealand sports clubs was stable at 44%. By 2021, that figure has risen to 49%, which the NZASA says is an indication of greater gender parity in the leadership of sports clubs.

However, only 27% of clubs report that their board or committee is chaired by a woman while, overall, women make up less than a third of coaches (21%), administrators (30%), managers (28%) and officials (23%) in New Zealand sports clubs.

Dr Mel Johnston, co-head of the Sport Performance Institute New Zealand’s NSCS at Auckland University of Technology (AUT SPRINZ), said she would like to see more female coaches and managers in clubs, but is encouraged by the overall near parity of the sexes in the club. governance.

Dr Johnston said “we know that when women make decisions, other women benefit”.

In this regard, survey respondents were asked if their club was doing anything to specifically involve female participants and 41% responded that they had done so. When asked to expand, those who made this effort reported that dedicated women’s club committees, deliberately welcoming women into the club, online platforms for women only, childcare services and female mentors were effective.

The survey also focused on the extent to which sports clubs are favorable to women. Interviewees strongly agreed that coaches and equipment were also available for women, but clubs could make improvements such as improving lighting in outdoor areas and putting in changing rooms suitable for women.

An annual snapshot of the management and operation of sports clubs, the NSCS was designed to complement the myriad of data available on the sports sector by focusing on clubs as organizational entities and the center of many communities. across New Zealand.

Open from August 19 to September 3, approximately 1,200 sports clubs participated in the 2021 survey, in 80 sports and across the 16 regions of New Zealand.

Several important metrics are tracked year by year regarding club membership, governance and finances, while a comprehensive set of investigative evidence related to women and girls in sports clubs has been included this year. year.

Being undertaken for the fourth year, the NSCS is undertaken in collaboration between NZASA and AUT SPRINZ.

Click here for more information on the NZASA website.

Main image courtesy of Aktive Auckland.

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