Last year’s Wairarapa College Senior netball team played in the world sport netball carnival at Surfers Paradise. PHOTO/FILE

While the top 10 sports in terms of pupils representing their school remains unchanged from 2017, the School Sport NZ Census, published last week, shows basketball is now the second most popular sport in secondary schools.

Up by just over 800 pupils [three per cent from 2017], the census recorded 26,481 pupils as pulling on their school basketball colours, just behind netball [27,139, down five per cent] with rugby third on 25,317.

Badminton also continued its trend over past years with four per cent growth to 10,793 pupils making it ninth in terms of pupils representing their school.

Secondary school sport remains a significant part of the NZ sporting sector with almost 150,000 pupils representing their school in 2018 – 52 per cent of all pupils, down one per cent on 2017 figures.

While also remaining the most significant providers of leadership, the number of teachers coaching or managing school sport continues to decline.

Thirty-one per cent [8263] of teachers were involved in school sport in 2018, down one per cent on 2017.