Injury-free sport and recreation

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.

On this page

    We believe in the health and wellbeing benefits of physical activity. 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 448,000 sport related claims. This is an overall cost of over $570M.

    The most common sport related injuries are:

    • lumbar (back) sprain
    • ankle sprain
    • sprain of the knee and/or leg
    • neck sprain
    • sprain of shoulder and/or 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 and sports administrators, ACC SportSmart is an injury prevention framework. It’s based on nine key principles to help you perform well and maintain your active lifestyle.

    ACC SportSmart

    Delivering on injury-free sport

    We partner with national sporting organisations including NZ Rugby, Netball NZ, NZ Football, Touch NZ and NZ Rugby League to deliver sport-specific versions of ACC SportSmart. Through these partnerships, we educate players, coaches, and referees about how to prepare well and perform at their best. 




    TouchFit 360


    ACC sports injury prevention also work in areas such as cycle safety and water safety. by supporting Waka Kotahi NZTA) on BikeReady, and water safety partnering with Water Safety NZ on Water Skills for Life.


    Water Skills for Life

    We encourage everyone to apply the SportSmart principles to their individual pursuits, to ensure they get the most from their sport and stay injury-free.

    Kids in sport

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

    Early specialisation is a concept related to children, which is defined as an intense and specific focus on one sport at the exclusion of others. 

    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 such as IronMāori and the Maori Sports Awards, which provide a positive channel to connect and engage with the people of Aoteoroa about injury prevention.


    Māori Sports Awards

    Last published: 16 April 2021