October 26, 2022
Rugby fending off three a side basketball threat
Changing times and young people’s preferences are posing a serious challenge for rugby union – long considered Māoridom’s top sport.
Rugby New Zealand is reviewing Whutupōro Aotearoa Māori Rugby including its governance, leadership, pathways for players on and off the field, the health of players and their families and delivery models for matches.
Māori rugby programme manager Cushla Tangaere-Manuel, says they want to make rugby more engaging for whanau in the face of online gaming and new-generation sports like three-a-side basketball.
“Our rangatahi are getting more and more attracted to sports that require less organisation and structure and rules, you can just get six of you together and have a game of basketball. You don’t need necessarily a referee. You don’t have to have the training, the uniforms and all the expense that goes with that,” she says.
Whanau involved in Māori rugby now or in the past are urged to take part in an online survey on what can be done reinvigorate the game.