Garry Carnachan: 'We want to get more secondary school
pupils involved in sport and to develop the community links
to help us do that.' Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Sport will sit alongside English and mathematics as the
most important subjects in secondary schools, if a new sport
and education project succeeds.
The three-year project is designed to develop models that can
be used in all secondary schools in New Zealand.
''We are trying to use sport to improve the academic, social
and sporting outcomes in schools,'' project manager Garry
Carnachan told the Otago Daily Times in Dunedin this week.
''In the old days, we used to go to a computer room. Now,
computers are in all our classrooms and embedded in our
''We go to the gym or the field to do sport in schools. If
this project is successful, sport will be embedded in
everything we do.''
Dunedin has a special interest in the project, as Queen's
High School and Kaikorai Valley College are among the eight
schools involved in the national project.
''At the end of the project, we would like to have compelling
evidence that this is an approach other schools would benefit
from,'' Carnachan said.
''We want to get more secondary school pupils involved in
sport and to develop the community links to help us do
The 2012 secondary school census showed that, for the third
year in a row, the number of students participating in sport
had grown by 1%.
''Over 10 years, this is another 10,000 kids representing
their schools in sport,'' Carnachan said.
There were 41 applications for the eight places in the
''We were overwhelmed by the interest,'' Carnachan said.
''In the first month, we have seen how self-propelled the
''It's almost as though teachers have received a mandate and
validation for things they have wanted to do and it has taken
An important part of the project is a link with primary
schools. Secondary school pupils provide leadership for sport
in primary schools.
The aim of the project was not to prove a positive link
between sport/physical activity and academic performance,
''We know that. There is a lot of evidence worldwide about
''At the end of the project, we will have a road map on how
to do this and compelling evidence to convince other schools
to take a similar approach.''