Kiwis need to return to their sporting traditions to improve the health and wellbeing of New Zealand, Labour’s Sport and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says.

“Sport is ingrained in the Kiwi psyche which is why Labour is proposing a robust and comprehensive set of policies to encouraging sporting participation at all levels and across all ages,” Trevor Mallard said.

“As part of our plan to get more Kiwis playing sport Labour will instigate an investigation into school sport participation, and look at the feasibility of reintroducing early finishing on some days to enable students to take part in midweek sport.

“There’s a lot more to this than the National Party’s idea that simply giving out bats and balls in schools will make a difference.

“We need to provide practical support schools and clubs with resources and training so that they can encourage young people to get involved in physical activity,” Trevor Mallard said.

“We want to encourage sports clubs and schools to work together so that young people stay involved in sport longer.

“The country needs to get active. As part of our commitment Labour will work closely with territorial authorities to ensure low cost outdoor recreation opportunities can be accessed by all New Zealanders and by visitors.

“We also don’t want to see Kiwis being prevented from using Conservation tracks and huts because of cost or lack of quality services.

“Over the past three years National has undone much of the work Labour did to reduce obesity, improve nutrition and increase physical activity.

“Labour knows these are areas a Government must take seriously. We are a great sporting nation with a fantastic outdoors. We need to promote sport and other activities to our children if we want them to become healthier Kiwis,” Trevor Mallard said.

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