The MainPower Primary School Sports Coaching Programme covers 42 schools from Ouruhia in the south to Hapuku just north of Kaikoura. Over 7,000 children are benefiting from the sports coaching programme as well as many teachers being up-skilled each week.

Our three teams of two sports coaches develop a comprehensive sporting fundamentals programme in conjunction with Sport Canterbury and Regional Development Officers from a wide range of sporting codes.  Working with small groups of children and their teacher, coaches focus on encouraging everyone to participate and enjoy their experience.  Teachers are re-energised by the programme and are provided with teaching notes as a resource to further their pupils’ sporting development between the coach’s fortnightly visits.
We have found that providing teams of two coaches ensures we are engaged in quality coaching directly to children rather than just facilitating a sports session.  Every child in every class is captured and encouraged – including one-on-one coaching if appropriate.

This approach at primary school age groups is proven to lead to increased out-of-school activity and encourages healthy habits into secondary school and beyond.
Delivery is timed to match seasonal sporting codes to further build on the sporting skills children are learning in other school and club environments.

Benefits to the children include...
•  Develop a wide range of fundamental skills and sport specific skills
•  Regular visits by the coaching teams builds a fun routine into the school’s standard curriculum delivery
•  Ignites interest and links to local sports clubs and organisations
•  Provides opportunities for relationship, teamwork and personal development in a physical setting
•  Children are taught good sporting habits early to assist their progress through secondary school and into adulthood.



With strong interest from 16 schools the NCSRT now has over 140 teams of Yr 5/6 and Yr 7/8 students playing one of five sports in its winter sports competition held on Fridays through terms 2 & 3.  Sports played include Netball, Football, Rugby (and Rippa Rugby), Hockey and Table Tennis, and sometimes Indoor Bowls.

When this programme was first introduced in 2010 it attracted 36 teams from 6 schools.  Feedback we have received from schools indicates increasing numbers of students are wanting to participate in these sports as a direct result of skills they have learned through our Sports Coaching programme in schools.

As an added bonus to schools this competition is fully organised by the NCSRT’s Primary Schools Sports Coordinator, which reduces teacher workload and time required outside the classroom.

Based in Rangiora the venues used (Southbrook Park, Dudley Park, Rangiora A&P Showgrounds and Maria Andrews Park) are all close to capacity with the competition format having to be adjusted to accommodate the rapid growth in team numbers.

The NCSRT also runs a number of one-off competitions for Pegasus and Rakahuri Zone schools from which winning teams go through to corresponding Canterbury Primary School Championships.  These include the One-Day Winter Sports Tournament (Netball, Hockey, Football and Rugby), a Rippa Rugby tournament and a Basketball tournament.

Evidence suggests the success of these Primary School Tournaments and the on-going Sports Coaching in schools is encouraging more young players to join local sports clubs and continue with sport as they move on to Secondary School and beyond.


Thank you to the Northern A&P Association for providing use of the showgrounds for the winter sports competition and the Zone Cross Country


In conjunction with MainPower, the North Canterbury Sport & Recreation Trust approached the Waimakariri District Council in 2011 to develop a schools’ swimming programme.  It is delivered by the WDC’s swimming instructors at Aquatic Centres and school pools in the region.  Funding partners in the programme include MainPower, Kiwi Sport, Southern Trust, the Waimakariri District Council and the local schools.

Each child in the programme receives ten 25 minute swimming lessons each year in small groups of six to seven children. 


Benefits to the children include...
•  Greater confidence in and around water
•  Improved understanding of swimming safety and the dangers of waterways
•  Teaches fundamental swimming strokes
•  Links well with Beach Education programmes run by Life Saving NZ


The North Canterbury Sport & Recreation Trust organises transport for the schools and pays all accounts.  In 2016 each child pays just $1 per lesson which covers transport, pool entry and lesson.

The present programme covers over 5,000 children in Years 2-8 from 32 schools.  An additional 1,440 students in Year 1 are also receiving this tuition at their own expense.   
Despite the challenges of outdoor pools and weather we have also been able to deliver this swimming programme in Kaikoura to 290 students from six primary schools.



The NCSRT’s Primary School Sports Coordinator organisers three main North Canterbury Primary School Sports Championship events each year...

Rakahuri & Pegasus Zone Athletics
Held each November this event attracts over 900 students from 23 schools participating in long jump, high jump, discuss, shotput, middle distance running, sprints and sprint relays.  The NCSRT Primary School Coaches build athletics into their programmes in the lead up to each school’s athletics day and the Zone champs.

North Canterbury Primary Schools Swimming Championships
The best swimmers from North Canterbury’s Zone school swimming championships (the Rakahuri and Pegasus Zone swimming sports are also organised by NCSRT Sports Coordinator) come together to compete in this event each March.  This gives swimmers another chance to experience competition racing ahead of the Canterbury Primary School Swimming Championships.
North Canterbury Primary Schools Cross Country Championships
Around 450 competitors from Pegasus and Rakahuri School Zones compete across nine races in this event held each June.  The 1, 2 and 3km courses at Loburn Domain feature a hill climb and a bush track section to challenge all runners.  Top place getters in each age group in each Zone qualify for the Canterbury Primary School Cross Country Championships and from there to the South Island Champs. 



Each year the NCSRT Primary School Sports Coordinator organises several Sports Spectacular “Have A Go” days for Year 3 & 4 students across Waimakariri and Hurunui districts.  These days provide children with an opportunity to sample a wide range of sports and activities they might not normally experience.

Along with the NCSRT sports coaches and staff, Sport Development Coaches from a wide range of sports including Rugby, Touch, Netball, Volleyball, Cricket, Football, Bowls, Golf, Hockey and Tennis attend the events to run short games and skills sessions in each sport.  Often there will also be a fundamental sports skills station which focusses on dynamic movements to help children learn balance, coordination, hand-eye skills, basic throwing and catching etc - skills which are common across a wide range of sporting codes.

For smaller and more remote schools these events are much anticipated with the children enjoying the exposure to many different types of sports and skills, as well as the expertise of the coaches.  There is also an important social interaction aspect to the day – particularly for children from the smallest schools.

These events help the various Sport Development Officers to network with schools and expand their programmes further into the districts.  One example of how this is helping is that now the Mainland Football Development Coaches regularly visit Hanmer and Rotheram Schools.  Without these events to help build relationships between teachers and sports coaches, rural schools can become even more isolated and opportunities for children become more limited.

The involvement of NCSRT’s sports coaches – who visit many of the schools on a regular basis – ensures continuity of the skills taught at these events and schools can then work with the coaches to do further delivery of the sports their children enjoyed most.


The NCSRT primary schools programme for Gymnastics & Trampoline continues to be a major focus in many of our schools’ physical literacy delivery.  Over 3,600 students from more than 15 schools visit the MEGA Stadium facility annually.  Many schools combine visits to the Dudley Park Aquatic Centre with sessions at the Gymnastics & Trampoline facility to maximise benefits of out of school activity time and eliminate transport costs.

Sessions are delivered by Gym Sports qualified instructors, following established lesson plans such as trampoline’s badge system.  During each session groups of children spend time at a wide range of equipment stations, including beams, rings, horizontal bars and sprung floor (gymnastics), and foam pit, double mini and Olympic-class trampolines.  Children are able to progress through higher levels as their skills develop, which gives them a strong grounding in the fundamentals if they choose to go on to more formal training through the Rangiora Gymnastics Club or ICE Trampoline Sports.

Skills learned focus on fitness, self-confidence, discipline, strength, flexibility, body and spatial awareness and sense of personal achievement.

We are also now accommodating NCEA groups from North Canterbury and Christchurch Secondary Schools, as well as many school holiday programmes, including our own week-long programme coordinated by the NCSRT Primary School Sports Coaching team.

During school terms the Trust also runs gymnastics, trampoline and dance programmes for pre-schoolers through to teenagers, based at both the MEGA Stadium and the Rangiora Fitness Centre.

NCSRT primary school sports programmes

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