All Blacks should 'go away and stop trying to take our money' that should go to getting kids active – Exercise Association

The Exercise Association says the All Blacks should "go away and stop trying to take our money" because elite sport receives the lion's share of Government funding compared with more popular physical activities.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen last month told media he had spoken to Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern about funding when they toured the changing rooms after a match at Eden Park.

Hansen said he told the pair "they should be our biggest sponsors, because we're their biggest brand", asking Ms Ardern if she could "find some money to help us compete against the likes of England and France so we can keep our players".

“If you think about the All Blacks and the brand, it’s important that we represent New Zealand really well, and she leads our country.” Source: 1 NEWS

Richard Beddie of the New Zealand Exercise Association, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast, said he disagreed with the call for more cash.

"The Government should say to the All Blacks go away and stop trying to take our money," he said, because getting more people active, especially children, should be the priority for that funding pool.

"We're not well-represented in activity or obesity levels worldwide," Mr Beddie said.

"We're now number three in obesity ... 50 per cent don't do enough [exercise] ... the WHO (World Health Organisation) says 30 minutes five times per week of moderate intensity.

"The cost of obesity and type two diabetes alone - it's going to cripple most Western health systems in the next 20 years."

Mr Beddie said he realised it would be controversial to suggest it, but said the All Blacks should be happy with what they get.

"To be blunt, in New Zealand, elite sport gets way too much money when you compare it with participation," he said.

"We've got a problem that sport gets most of the funding, when in fact sport is declining in participation levels, whereas recreation activities such as going to the gym or dancing or yoga actually gets a very small percentage - less than ten per cent of that pot.

"But in fact, that's where people are choosing to spend their time these days.

"I love the All Blacks, I want the All Blacks to win, but the problem is when they are trying to compete with the same pot of money to trying to get more kids active.

"If we look at children - we have the biggest problem with children and activity levels, because less than 10 per cent do enough ... that's where the real problem lies.

"That is really about our future."

Richard Beddie of the Exercise Association of New Zealand says elite sport is currently over-funded. Source: Breakfast

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