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Getting physical

How might Sport Otago engage tertiary students in more physical activity?

Sport Otago is a not-for-profit organisation which provides sport and recreation experts and services to encourage the Otago community to be physically active. Tertiary students would benefit physically and mentally from participation in physical activity, yet their participation is low in Sport Otago events.

Event Management student Isaac Smith investigated how Sport Otago might attract greater participation by tertiary students. He surveyed students, asking for examples about how they preferred to receive information about events, desired event duration, how much they were willing to pay to participate, and what features made an exercise event appealing to them. He also discussed the issues in depth with a focus group, and investigated the activities of other similar organisations. His recommendations to Sport Otago included:

  • Run events during low academic workload periods
  • use photos and videos from previous event on social media and poster locations on campus
  • Target first year tertiary students in halls of residence, creating awareness of Sport Otago's purpose as well as upcoming events
  • Keep participation costs between $10 and $15
  • Hold a student only team based event with a charitable component

Michael Smith, Business Development Manager with Sport Otago, says that Isaac was unbelievable, going over and above what was expected, helping with events and planning a whole event that could be run for students. 

There were good findings in his research project to help us connect better with students and we'll definitely be implementing some of those.

December 2018