Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand and is located in the south-west of the North Island, sitting between Cook Strait and Remutaka Range.
For many years now, Wellington has been regarded as city that boasts great cultural and sporting prowess. In this article, we will shed light on the thriving sports community in Wellington, giving insight into which sports are on the rise, where you can play them, and providing a historical overview of some of Wellington’s most favoured sports.
Play Sports in Wellington
The sports community in Wellington has something for everyone. Whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned pro, there are a plethora of opportunities in Wellington for you to try your hand at a new sport or join a league or club for a sport that you already take part in. Let’s have a closer look at some of the opportunities available in New Zealand:
The most popular sports in New Zealand are rugby, cricket and netball. However, even though baseball is a less popular sport, Wellington is creating a more vibrant community around it. In 2013, Wellington Baseball became the regional association to provide baseball to Wellington. Through this association, Wellington now offers a variety of baseball teams from little league to senior league level.
Players of all ages and levels can join a team with qualified coaches and umpires. Additionally, there is an opportunity to play in national tournaments and compete against other regions in New Zealand.
Where to Play Sports in Wellington
Throughout Wellington there are more than 40 parks with courts and fields, suitable for use during any time of the year. The Berhampore Golf Course and the Ākau Tangi Sports Centre are two fantastic facilities that are located in Wellington and open for public and community use.
Depending on the sport that you wish to play, you will of course have to find a park that has the right field or court markings. The majority of the parks have markings for football, rugby, cricket and softball.
It is important to note that some of the community spaces require you to request a booking in advance.
Professional Sports in Wellington
Netball in New Zealand
Netball is the most popular women’s sport in New Zealand. It has become a part of the Kiwi culture, and has created a community of strong athletes alongside passionate and supportive fans.
In netball, there are two teams of seven players trying to gain possession of the ball in order to score points. The main positions are goal shooter, goal attack, wing attack, centre, wing defence and goal defence.
The Silver Ferns is New Zealand’s national netball team. They play in international tournaments such as the Netball World Cup, the Commonwealth Games, the Taini Jamison Trophy, the Constellation Cup, the Netball Quad Series and the Fast5 Netball World Series.
The Central Pulse is Wellington’s netball team in the ANZ Premiership. Their home court is Wellington’s TSB Bank Arena.
Additionally, the Netball Wellington Centre is a communal space with courts for all ages and levels. Local tournaments and matches are held for U18, U16 and U14 netball leagues.
Rugby in New Zealand
Rugby is the national sport of New Zealand and is therefore a large part of the Kiwi culture and lifestyle.
The All Blacks is New Zealand’s National Rugby Union team and has a strong and supportive fan base.
The All Blacks is commonly recognized as the most successful national rugby team of all time. They were the first country to win the Rugby World Cup three times. They have won over 77% of their test matches. Since world rankings were introduced in 2003, the All Blacks have consistently held the number one spot. Additionally, they have won 10 of 16 Tri-Nations tournaments; six of seven Rugby Championships; and retained the Bledisloe Cup for 17 years.
While the All Blacks play at various stadiums throughout New Zealand, they play some of their matches at Sky Stadium in Wellington. When the All Blacks are playing in Wellington, you can feel the excitement and support of the fans wherever you look.
The Wellington Lions is the professional rugby union team based out of Wellington. Their home arena is Sky Stadium.
Sky Stadium is a perfect place to bring together the thriving sports community of Wellington.
Many sporting events are held at Sky Stadium in Wellington. Some of the most popular events include:
- The All Blacks rugby matches.
- A selection of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 matches.
- Rugby Union’s Farah Palmer Cup.