Good Sports and Balance is Better

Good Sports is a national culture change initiative designed by Active Auckland that we have adopted as we lead, educate and work with others to improve youth sport in Taranaki

​​​​​​​Good Sports

Good Sports is a national culture change initiative designed by Active Auckland that we have adopted as we lead, educate and work with others to improve youth sport in Taranaki. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

A key tool for those working with young people in sport is the Good Sports spine.  This helps coaches, administrators, parents and supporters self-reflect and move along the spectrum from a climate of performance to a climate of development.​​​​​​​

Good Sports Steering Group 

We are working alongside regional sports organisations like Central Football, Taranaki Hockey, SkateSport Taranaki, Taranaki Rugby, the Taranaki Secondary School Sports Association, Athletics Taranaki, Taranaki Rugby League, Basketball Taranaki, Badminton Taranaki, MMA New Plymouth, Touch Taranaki, Swimming Taranaki and Gymnastics New Zealand to deliver on a framework where each regional sport organisation reviews their alignment to Balance is Better by working on collaborative projects.

The Steering Group have  developed consistent messaging out into the community to help people understand that sport for young people is about the following key points: 

  • Keep it fun 
  • Support everyone  
  • Mistakes are for learning 
  • Focus on my effort 
  • Say you enjoyed watching their game 

Some other achievements of the Good Sports Steering Group include: 

  • Judicial Panel List – All codes can tap into a list of people who are willing to be on judicial panels to disciplinary issues 
  • Seasonal guidelines signed post COVID lockdown 1 and seasonal conversations had during the COVID lockdown 2 
  • Balance is Better workshop run for governance boards 
  • Good Sports Coaching for development workshop  
  • Be a Good Sport radio campaign 
  • Combined Calendar Project 
  • Gathering insights about attitudes and behaviours in youth sport

Good Sports Steering Group Members


Guy Honnor

Coaching Manger 

[email protected]

Phone: 027 705 9369​​​​​​​

Explore the stories below that highlight the impact of a Good Sports workshop

Good Sports Workshops Available Now

We are delivering community workshops to increase the awareness of the state of youth sport, and to provide tools and understanding to adult influencers about how they can have a positive impact on how young people can experience sport. 

We have delivered workshops with a variety of groups and organisations and participants. 

If you would like to have us share Good Sports or Balance is Better messaging to your sporting community, please contact Marina Healey or Guy Honnor.Workshops are fully customisable. 

Advocating within the sector

We are raising awareness of the Balance is Better philosophy by working through system partners. This includes work with community partners like funders and councils, highlighting the issues within youth sport and encouraging them to find ways that they can support the Balance is Better philosophy. 

Balance is Better

Balance is Better is an evidence-based philosophy to support quality sport experiences for all young people, regardless of ability, needs and motivations. It is about young people staying involved in sport for life and realising their potential at the right time. 

The Balance is Better philosophy has been developed in New Zealand to support the culture change needed to provide quality sport opportunities for tamariki (5-11) and rangatahi (12-18).  

What is it all about?

We are losing young people from sport, and they are missing out on the opportunity to be physically active and reach their full potential. 

If we are going to change this, we need to improve what is happening at the grass roots and for those involved in delivering youth sport to think differently. 

We need to think about how we can put the fun and skill development back into kids sport. 

Nine principles that underpin the Balance is Better philosophy have been developed to guide the New Zealnd sport system to provide improved sport experiences for all young people. 

Balance is Better has 9 guiding principles that support how adults in youth sport – (administrators, coaches, teachers, parents) can make a difference in the experience young people have in sport. 

Check out the Balance is Better website including articles, webinars and a wealth of research.