In a landmark move, NZ Esports and School Sport NZ have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, marking a significant step towards creating a safer and more structured environment for school esports in New Zealand.
In recent years, esports has seen a surge in popularity among New Zealand’s youth, with an increasing number of students participating in various gaming tournaments and events. However, this rapid growth has highlighted the need for a structured framework to ensure the safety and well-being of young gamers. The partnership between NZ Esports and School Sport NZ addresses this need, aiming to create a supportive ecosystem where esports can be enjoyed responsibly and constructively.
Jonathan Jansen, CEO of NZ Esports, emphasizes the partnership’s significance: “There are thousands of kiwi kids participating in school esports every year, and this partnership with School Sport NZ puts us another step closer to making esports a safe, accepted place for students to connect with each other, and flourish.”
Central to this partnership is the Academic Accredited Tournament Organizer (AATO) Policy, which establishes essential safety and integrity guidelines. This policy provides a consistent, transparent, and secure environment for school esports competitions across New Zealand.
The AATO Policy stands as a robust framework to protect and elevate the esports experience in schools.
Michael Summerell of School Sport NZ echoes this sentiment: “In a significant step forward, School Sport NZ officially recognises NZ Esports as the governing body for Esports in New Zealand schools, a key aspect of our newly signed Memorandum of Understanding. This partnership symbolises our commitment to enhancing school sports through innovative and well-governed Esports initiatives.
Together, we are dedicated to creating a safe, inclusive, and dynamic environment in school sports. We look forward to advocating for NZ Esports, driving consistent, high-quality Esports experiences for students across New Zealand, and seamlessly integrating Esports into our school sport sector.”
NZ Esports, leveraging the experience of traditional sporting bodies like School Sport NZ, aims to enhance the overall experience of school esports. This collaborative effort will cultivate a culture of safety, fairness, and respect in esports, ensuring it remains a regulated space where the welfare and integrity of participants are paramount.
Through this MoU, NZ Esports and School Sport NZ are setting a new standard for school esports in New Zealand, fostering a safe and vibrant community for the next generation of esports enthusiasts.