Launch of SportSmart

  • Marie Hasler
Associate Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance

Wellington Girls' College, Gymnasium, Pipitea Street

Good afternoon everyone.

Garry Wilson, ACC Chief Executive; Keith McLea, Prism Chief Executive; Associate Professor David Gerrard, Sports Medicine Programme, University of Otago; Lois Muir; previously netball coach to the Silver Ferns and now to the Capital Shakers and the Wellington NPC Netball Team; members of the Wellington Girls' College netball team; staff and students of Wellington Girls'; and invited guests.

I am delighted to be here to officially launch SportSmart. This programme is a tremendous initiative for all young people involved in sport and its introduction is timely.

In the year to 30 June 1998 there were nearly 26,000 new sport and recreation entitlement claims costing just over $40 million.

At the same time ACC was managing over 10,000 ongoing claims costing $71 million.

A large proportion of new claims come from those aged 15 to 29.

The message from these statistics is clear - action must be taken to both reduce the burden placed on society by the cost of these injuries, and also to reduce the impact of injuries on the lives of those getting injured.

The message has been heard and the result is the SportSmart programme sponsored by ACC.

The programme is a smart one. All those who have been involved in its development are to be commended for their effort and initiative.

SportSmart brings five sporting codes together to tackle the problem of sports injuries and this combined approach promises improved outcomes by reducing the cost of the consequences of sporting injuries.

A lot of hard work has gone into the development of the SportSmart programme. A lot more work will be involved in taking the programme out through schools and coaches to courts and playing fields around the country.

I am pleased to be here today to officially launch the SportSmart programme.

As a keen follower of sport I am encouraged to see different sporting codes working together on initiatives such as this; and as Associate Minister for Accident Insurance I certainly look forward to seeing the positive results flow from SportSmart.