In Allianz, we have been supporting communities in Ireland for over 100 years. Over that time, championing sport has always been a core part of how we have supported the passions of our customers.

We have been a proud partner of the GAA for over 30 years, longest supporter of Para sport in Ireland through our partnership with Paralympics Ireland of over 10 years, the Olympic Federation of Ireland since 2021 and the Camogie Association since 2022. Through our partnerships, we’ve seen the positive impact sport can have on the lives of anyone, at any age, but particularly for children and young people.

However, while sport is a part of our national DNA, 1 in 5 children stop participating in sport at the transition from primary to secondary school. As the largest insurer of schools in Ireland, insuring over 500,000 children, we want to play a part in stopping the drop in participation through our awareness campaign #StopTheDrop.

We support the children of Ireland through Allianz Cumann na mBunscol , GAA Go Games, Allianz Post Primary Competition, Camán 2 Croker and the Sport Ireland Campus Kids Camps. Through our many partnerships, we enable over 60,000 children annually to engage with sport at national grassroots level. We’re working to be part of the solution that ensures young people from all backgrounds get active and stay active for life.

Coaches, teachers and parents play a vital role in the lives of young people. Their support and encouragement can make all the difference when it comes to a young person choosing to stay in sport or to drop out.

This #StopTheDrop resource hub, created with our partners Move2B, aims to provide practical supports to arm teachers, coaches and parents with the knowledge to help support the next generation. The hub resources will allow young people to navigate the hidden barriers that can often result in them dropping out of sports. 

From starting something new, to learning how to bounce back from setbacks and everything else in between, the #StopTheDrop hub has something for everyone.

In Allianz, we are dedicated to doing our part in addressing the challenge of children dropping out of sport. In doing so we strive to live up to our purpose of securing the future for our customers and their families.  

In pursuit of a deeper understanding of the perspectives and nuances surrounding the Irish sporting landscape, we undertook a comprehensive research project, carried out by Ipsos B&A, to explore key obstacles related to sports participation in Ireland today. 

This research aims to shine a critical light on the issue of childhood participation in sport. We hope you find it informative and that it helps you gain a deeper understanding of the issues at play and how we can work together to tackle them.  

The Bio-Psycho-Social Model can be used to break down the different factors that influence a person’s involvement in sport. This model offers a logical approach to understanding sport participation by looking at the intricate relationship of biological, psychological, and social factors; giving insight into how participation and performance outcomes are often impacted by the interaction between these three factors.

As young people transition from primary to secondary school, they experience a lot of social and psychological shifts. And that’s on top of all the biological changes that are happening. 

The main driver of this is, of course, the onset of puberty, with most girls starting puberty between the ages of 8 to 13 years old, and most boys starting between 9 and 14 years old. As a coach, you don’t need to be an expert on these changes, however, it is important to have an awareness that the young people you are coaching might be turning up to training in a body that feels very different to how it felt a few months ago. Your role as coach is to help young players get the basics right. These are the good habits that will stand to them throughout their sporting journey.

There are any number of psychological factors that can impact a young player's involvement in sport, however the factor that has one of the biggest impacts on young players is psychological safety.

Put simply, this means creating a supportive and positive environment for players - where they feel comfortable being themselves, developing new skills, and finding support if faced with a challenge. This is a cornerstone to keeping young people in sport long-term.

Social factors can be both useful and supportive, or negative and stressful when it comes to young people’s participation in sport. The social factor encompasses environmental, cultural, and relational influences. Teammates, coaches, and club environments hugely influence a young person’s experience of sport and physical activity. As adolescents transition from their parents and immediate family as primary influencers, the sway of friends and peers becomes increasingly significant.

*Allianz is the largest insurer of school children in Ireland. We insure over 500,000 children through our pupil personal insurance. 

*Sport Ireland Study referenced in our ad can be found here CSPPA 2022 | Sport Ireland