Disabling Sporting Greatness | The Jackal

4 Sep 2011

Disabling Sporting Greatness

New Zealand is a sporting nation that loves a good game. We punch above our weight and should rightly feel proud about our achievements. Through the good work of many volunteers, our young are engaged in sports, which is healthy for all concerned.

However there’s something this sporting mad nation needs to be aware of; our terrible poverty levels are affecting New Zealand’s ability to produce great athletes.

There are three main reasons why poverty is adversely affecting our sports.
1.    The 20% of children who are growing up in poverty in New Zealand, are often malnourished. Their physical development is therefore hindered from a lack of proper sustenance. A good diet is the backbone of all great athletes.

2.    Young poor people do not participate in sports because of financial restrictions. Although there are many free sporting activities, to attain better achievement a higher level of investment is required to encourage greater participation. 
3.    Children who grow up in poor areas do not have many sporting opportunities. That is because there is less sporting infrastructure in poor communities. Children living in poor areas therefore do not develop their sporting skills.
So New Zealand needs to ask itself, do we want to win? Then we need to do something about child poverty. It’s as simple as that.