NZ Teachers' Games in town

Mount Maunganui College PE teachers (from left) Mikaere October, Katie Steenson, Paul Tietjens and Tuahu Waretini-Thomas will be competing at the New Zealand Teachers’ Games in October. Photo: Bruce Barnard.

We’ve got the AIMS games – now Tauranga will also play host to the inaugural New Zealand Teachers’ Games in October.

The teachers’ games are an opportunity for teachers and other school staff to have fun with their colleagues and compete either seriously or socially on the sports field.

The New Zealand Secondary Schools Sports Council has teamed up with Sport Bay of Plenty to deliver the event which will include traditional sports such as badminton, basketball, squash, bowls, touch rugby, golf and netball as well as some ‘not so traditional’ sports such as beach volleyball, dodgeball, futsal and King/Queen of the Mount.

There will also be chances to try sports such as stand up paddle boarding and waka ama, and take part in social team trivia nights and a ‘Great Race’.

The sports will be held at various venues in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui from October 1-3.

The event will also include professional development for teachers to help them develop confidence in leading sporting opportunities for students.

NZSSSC chief executive Garry Carnachan says the event is aimed at reaching and re-engaging teachers in the joy of sport and the value of being in a team.

“Hopefully that transfers to their understanding of the importance of sport in young people’s lives and they go back to school re-energised and maybe get involved in leading sport in their schools.”

A recent NZSSSC census on participation in sport found that only 33 per cent of teachers were involved in school sport in 2016 compared to 56 per cent in 2000.

“We’ve got an aging teacher workforce and a lot of people lead busy lives and have dropped out of sport. Perhaps they’ve forgotten the social and physical benefits of being involved in sport and being part of a team. It’s about re-engaging people in those kinds of values.”

Registrations for the games close on September 1 and Garry says there has been a lot of interest generated on social media so far.

“We hope we have a mix that everybody will be happy with and we have the numbers to make all the options viable.”

Garry says it is hoped that other sports will be added to the line-up over time.