Drivers and impediments to grassroots football in New Zealand Research Completed


Drivers and impediments to grassroots football in New Zealand

Lead Author

Gill Worth


Massey University

Publication Year



Massey University, MSC thesis



This study has sought to identify some of the drivers and demographic features associated with team sport participation trends experienced in New Zealand over the last decade. The project has focussed on participation in football (Soccer). This research was conducted in 2009 and included surveys of junior players age across groups and regions to identify the key reasons why current young players choose to play football, to what extent it is their initial choice and what degree of influence their parents have. It also asks what activities and features they would particularly like to see developed as part of participating in the game. Part of the research was to survey teenagers who have recently left the sport to identify key reasons why they have chosen to leave with consideration to possible perceived negative characteristic of the game as well as the attractive characteristics of alternatives chosen. The research also included interviews with key officials to gain a better appreciation of the background relating to New Zealand football.

The results from the officials’ interviews showed that most thought that there had been some progress with football in New Zealand in recent years, in particular the success with the All Whites, the Auckland win and the Phoenix successes of 2009. However, they all thought that there was a lot more to do to improve the delivery and structure of the game. The comments relating to improvements were summarised under the general themes of

·         Better performance at all levels

·         Better playing facilities

·         Better organisational structures

·         Greater alignment between organisations, including clubs and schools, the federations and New Zealand Football



Football, soccer, grassroots, clubs, drivers, barriers

How to access

Areas of Focus

Population Groups

Settings (location)

Provision (delivery type & infrastructure)


Sport and Recreation Types




January 24, 2012

Last Modified

August 28, 2014