Yachting New Zealand are investigating the impact the timing of a child’s birthday has on their development in the junior classes. Research has shown that children who have birthdays earlier in the year are more likely to excel in age-group sport because they are typically more physically mature than their younger peers.
Understanding the impact of this in sailing will help us better understand the pathway options for young sailors and hopefully see more children stay in the sport. We know many leave the sport when they hit high school and having more data to analyse will help us potentially understand why.
We’re asking parents of any Optimist class sailors to please fill out a short survey. We want to know the height (cm), weight (kgs), gender and date of birth of sailors in the Opti fleet. We also need the height of both biological parents to complete the formula. We do not require names.
We are collecting the data through this survey here (included is guidance around measurement) Please return the completed survey by March 3, 2022.
The study is being led by Saffron Nixon, who is on placement at Yachting New Zealand as part of her studies for a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation. She’s well known in the Auckland sailing scene, having sailed throughout her childhood and she is now a coach.
The measurements will be collected by Yachting New Zealand. The data will be held on a secure database which will be accessed by the research team only and will not be shared with outside parties. The data will then be used to complete Saffron’s third year research project and inform future junior programme development. A copy of the report will be made available through Yachting New Zealand.
If you want any more information about the study, please contact Yachting New Zealand national sport development director Raynor Haagh.
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