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Sport Assist


What is the SportAssist program?

The SportAssist is a program developed and managed by the SMT Group to extend the existing opportunities of the government's community work program.

The benefits include:


Allows people on benefits to get involved in sports groups as part of their compulsory work activities.


Allows sports groups to benefit from the use of these additional skills and labour at no cost.


It requires the sports group to provide sporting experiences to the unemployed where possible.

  The principles of the SportAssist program are to:  

Produce identifiable community benefits.


Be a paid work environment for up to 20 hours per week, but also to encourage participants to move into long-term paid work.

Provide no profit or unfair competitive advantage to sports groups.
Not displace current or future paid workers.
Not allow sports groups or workers to become dependent on community work.
  How it Works Top

The regional SportAssist co-ordinator identifies sports groups who need assistance.

Work and Income New Zealand approve the project.
The regional co-ordinator trains sports group staff to use the program.
WINZ and the regional co-ordinator identify participants who will fit the position.
Sports group staff manage, supervise and mentor workers on a daily basis.

Sports groups provide a sporting experience to workers and their families where possible.

Co-ordinators and SMT report regularly to WINZ.

Unemployed get experience for up to 20 hours per week, sports groups get work done and everyone benefits.

  Does the SportAssist program Achieve its Goals?  
  Participant Research Results  

The results of a survey conducted in September 1999 by Trina Taylor of the department of leisure studies at Waikato University show the following:


89% of the respondents siad that their desire to attain work had increased as a result of the SportAssist program.


63% of respondents had obtained full time employment after the completion of the SportAssist program. Of the participants who had finished the course, 63% said that the SportAssist program influenced their present position of either employment or other educational and employment programs.


78% of the SportAssist participants demonstrated an increase in positive skills and abilities after participating in the program. 54% of these participants recognised the SportAssist program to be the main influence.


35% of the participants did not want to continue with the SportAssist program because they wanted to expand themselves and increase their responsibility.


At the start of the SportAssist course 17% felt they had low self-esteems. After the participants had taken part in the SportAssist course this number decreased to 0%. After the SportAssist course 78% feel they are now motivated and 78% feel they are good communicators, compared to 55% before the start of the course. Those participants that felt they lacked motivation have now decreased to 0%.


61% of respondents were more aware of employment opportunities as a result of the SportAssist course.


The SportAssist program had a major influence on 80% of the participants who gained full time employment at the end of the SportAssist program and influenced 100% of those who received part time employment after the completion of the course. For these participants the SportAssist program led to further employment opportunities through development of contacts and reestablishing themselves in the work force.


78% of the SportAssist participants experienced a positive change in their skills and abilities whilst on the SportAssist program.


83% of the participants made new friends as a result of the SportAssist course. 17% continued with those friendships and 28% created new positive social circles outside of work.


The results demonstrate that the SportAssist participants have been influences positively toward increasing their personal skills and abilities. Participants have also achieved an increase in their desire to work and are more aware of work opportunities. 61% of the respondents have increased their individual awareness of employment opportunities, which has created avenues for future employment.Finally the Sportassist program has succeeded in increasing individual desire and motivation to go out and find a job.

Note: While the number of responses to the survey were high, the research responses did not achieve 95% of the total number of participants. The trends however, are obvious and consistent.

  Sponsor Research Results  

The results of a survey conducted in September 1999 of sponsors involved in the SportAssist program show the following:

  100% of respondents were happy with the quality of participants

  "Very reliable, good worker, eager and thorough. Worked well with others"
"They were punctual and had a great rapport with the children"
"Very Happy"
"We did such a great job with her that she got another job within days"

  77% of respondents did not have any difficulties

  "Working out the criteria for different pay scales"
"Filling her spot quickly. Also getting our man to make backboards out from the wap waps of Otorohanga sooner"
"A lot of mucking around to finalise with WINZ"
  100% of respondents were happy with the level of service they received from their regional SportAssist co-ordinator

  "Good contact -efficient and concerned. Good communicator, well presented, always on call"
"Friendly service"
"Sue has been great, she did not hesitate to solve all the getting started organising. She also has made follow up calls to ensure we were not having any problems"
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