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NZ Rugby needs to understand generation Y’s to stop player


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New Zealand rugby is suffering a serious player drain because of its inability to understand or meet the needs of Generation Ys, teenagers who shun commitment and give up in the face of discouragement, a report released Wednesday says.

The report was commissioned by the Wellington provincial rugby union to explain a 10 percent drop in the number of high school-age players in its region in the past year.

In its findings, the report chides rugby for failing to understand modern teenagers and criticizes star players for their hesitance to interact with young players and to encourage them to remain in the game.

But the report also paints a grim picture of modern youth, saying they are “non-committers” who “give up easily in the face of excellence” and “do not seek pathways to improvement”.

The report says modern teenagers “expect to play without reading the instructions” because that is their experience in other aspects of their leisure lives.

Generation Ys are passive and not “go-getters”, the report says, but, paradoxically, they respond well to structure and to positive role models.

New Zealand rugby has experienced a steady decline in player numbers at both senior and junior levels in recent years. In part, the report blames the falloff in junior player numbers on the reluctance of Generation Ys to commit to club membership and to their attitude that sport is for athletes and not for them.

The report criticizes modern professional players for failing to use their role model status to encourage youngsters to take up or stay in rugby.

Sapa-AP –   

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