News article

Allianz aims to stop the drop in Irish children’s sports participation

June 27 2024

German insurer Allianz has launched its new ‘Stop The Drop’ research with Irish Olympic silver medallist Sonia O’Sullivan. 

Allianz aims to stop the drop in Irish children’s sports participation

The research and campaign shine a spotlight on the drop in sports participation among Irish children, particularly as they transition from primary to secondary school.

Sport Ireland’s latest research on children’s sport participation from 2022 reported a concerning statistic: 1 in 5 children were quitting sports between primary and secondary school.

Allianz is a major insurer of schools and sports in Ireland, and has initiated a research project to explore the main barriers related to participation in the country. The research was carried out by Ipsos B&A, utilising semiotic analysis, and qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

Individuals interviewed encompassed a diverse group, representing various life stages and levels of engagement in sports. Interviewees included those that were heavily involved in sports, either for themselves or their children; sports veterans and coaches; sports professionals and coaches; sports fans and more. Additionally, barriers faced as a result of sexuality, race/ethnicity or physical differences were also considered.

“Despite sport being a key part of our national identity, 1 in 5 children stop participating in sport when transitioning from primary to secondary school,” said Allianz Ireland Chief Executive Phillip Gronemeyer.

“As the largest insurer of schools in Ireland, insuring over 500,000 children, we want to play a part in stopping this drop in participation in sport.”

“Despite sport being a key part of our national identity, 1 in 5 children stop participating in sport when transitioning from primary to secondary school." Allianz Ireland Chief Executive, Phillip Gronemeyer

Allianz has also partnered with Move2Be, an organisation in Ireland that aims to encourage girls to remain in sports as they grow older, to introduce the #StopTheDrop resource hub. The hub will provide practical support for teachers, coaches and parents to encourage the next generation of athletes.

“As a former athlete, I am honoured and excited to be supporting the Allianz ‘Stop The Drop’ campaign,” said O’Sullivan.

“As a sportsperson myself but most importantly as a parent, I know first-hand  the positive impact sport has on young people and the importance of that. Keeping children engaged with sport, at whatever level works for them, can aid them in developing so many important life skills, enabling them to go on to great things into their teenage and adult lives. The Allianz Stop The Drop campaign aims to highlight the issue around childhood sports participation in Ireland today, one we cannot ignore for the sake of our children’s futures.”

Image: Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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