New Zealand Rugby League are committed to creating more positive experiences on and off the field for our players, match officials and supporters. ‘Be a sport’ (BAS) in conjunction with the Aktive Good Sports programme, is designed specifically to encourage positive supporter behaviour and provide more enjoyable rugby league experiences for our community.

Last Wednesday (23 May), NZRL held the first Good Sports workshop at Mount Albert Rugby League Club.

The Mt Albert Rugby League club, like other codes and clubs around NZ, are facing declining membership numbers and were keen to ask the hard questions, why and what can we do about it?

All team coaches and managers were invited, with a representative from every team in the club attending.

The workshop was facilitated by Kirsty Sharp (NZRL Legacy Manager) & Gary Peacham (National Coaching Manager) who have worked with the Good Sports (an Aktive pilot) team over the past 12 months to develop a rugby league specific presentation on the role of adults in children sport.

The main messages:

  • the impact of adults – coaches and parents on the junior members of the club
  • why children play sport
  • developing environments which keep children engaged in sport, including the embedding of the ‘Be a Sport’ programme
  • initiatives the club could adopt to help embed the Good Sports philosophy into the club

NZRL have also created a video called “Remember WHY”, which profiles well known rugby league personalities who speak about their own childhood experiences, what they loved about playing sport as a youngster, along with some messages for parents supporting their children.

Ani Cherrington, Mt Albert’s president:

“The Good Sports Seminar is the best thing we have done for our club in a long time.  It gave us the opportunity and space to think about what we do and how we do it.  The conversations and self-evaluation have continued long after the seminar finished.”


“ Haven’t been to a seminar before so have learnt that kids just need to enjoy football without the pressure and expectation of winning etc..”

“ Adults/parents have a big influence on kids with their behaviour”

“We have the ability to control a child’s experience /enjoyment of sport as well as contribute to their personal development”

For more information or

If your club is interested in booking a Good Sports workshop contact