Injury-free sport and recreation

Sport is a huge part of the New Zealand way of life, we want to help you to remain on the field instead of sidelined with injuries.

We believe in the benefits of physical activity and if you do have an injury, we want you to recover well, avoid re-injury and get back to what you enjoy doing.

Each year we receive on average 480,000 sport related claims.

The most common sport related injuries in 2018 were:

  • lumbar sprain
  • ankle sprain
  • sprain of knee and leg
  • neck sprain
  • sprain of shoulder and upper arm.

Keeping you injury-free

From competitive athletes to weekend warriors, ACC SportSmart is there to help everyone get the most out of their game and stay injury free.

Developed by an expert panel of academics, clinicians, sports administrators and subject matter experts, ACC SportSmart is an injury prevention framework. It’s based on nine key principles to help you perform well and enjoy an active lifestyle.

ACC SportSmart

Delivering on injury-free sport

We partner with national sporting organisations including NZ Rugby, NZ Rugby League, NZ Netball, NZ Football, Touch NZ and Basketball NZ. Through these partnerships, we educate players, coaches, and referees about how to prepare well for their sport and remain injury free.

We also work in recreation areas such as cycling, mountain biking, and snow sports. We encourage everyone to apply the SportSmart principles to their individual pursuits.

Kids in Sport

In 2019, the Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ACSEP) released a position statement around early specialisation in sport.

What is their guidance which is endorsed by ACC?

  • Getting that balance of activity right can be as simple as ensuring the amount of organised sport (training and competition) per week doesn’t exceed the young person’s age. For example, a 10-year-old should avoid doing more than 10 hours of organised sport (training or competition) per week across all their sports and PE.
  • They recommend that kids should not specialise in a single sport until at least the age of 12.
  • However, general play and physical activity outside sport should be viewed as separate to this, and actively encouraged.
  • There should be a 2:1 ration of play to structured sport.

Sport specialisation in young athletes position statement

Community event partnerships

As well as delivering through national partnerships, we partner with several events.

One of these is the Anchor AIMS Games. The AIMS games are the largest sporting event for 11 to 13-year-old students in New Zealand. More than 10,000 intermediate aged students and 1,500 coaches attend and compete across 21 different sports. It’s an important age to start teaching skills to form good lifelong habits to stay in sport and off the sideline with injuries.

Anchor AIMS Games International Sporting Championships

We also partner with IronMāori. This partnership is about promoting Whanaū wellness and supporting good preparation for individual wellness journeys, including the IronMāori Half.


Last published: 25 June 2019