Stu­dent fit­ness is the win­ner

Coly­ton schools are lead­ing the charge fight­ing child­hood obe­sity with a new pro­gram aimed at en­cour­ag­ing in­ter-school sports and get­ting stu­dents fit.

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Jil­lian McKee How can schools com­bat child­hood obe­sity? @the­druitt

COLY­TON’S ed­u­ca­tors have joined forces to fight child­hood obe­sity.

This year, a new weekly sport­ing pro­gram – known as Coly­ton Learn­ing Com­mu­nity Sports – sees public schools Ben­nett Road, Ox­ley Park, Coly­ton and St Marys South com­pete in sports ev­ery Fri­day morn­ing.

From cricket to oz­tag and new­combe ball, there is some­thing for ev­ery­one.

The pro­gram is so pop­u­lar it has en­cour­aged schools to com­pete against each other – in­clud­ing some who hadn’t played sport against other schools in 12 years.

The con­cept orig­i­nated from Ben­nett Road Public School prin­ci­pal Matthew Plum­mer and Coly­ton High School’s act­ing prin­ci­pal Kurt Wawszkow­icz, who no­ticed flaws in the pre­vi­ous in­ter-school sports pro­gram.

“There was fi­nan­cial dif­fi­culty get­ting kids to the games and they of­ten had to travel far only to play for 20 min­utes,” Mr Wawszkow­icz said. “The pro­gram al­lows even the less sporty kids to get in­volved and the pos­i­tive feed­back from the kids and par­ents has been in­cred­i­ble.”

St Marys South Public School’s prin­ci­pal Harry Vas­sila said the school had not par­tic­i­pated in in­ter­school sport in over 12 years.

“We were on the hunt for a new sports pro­gram and this suited us per­fectly. Fi­nan­cially it is dif­fi­cult for small schools to be in­volved in com­pet­i­tive sport but more than 80 per cent of our stu­dents are at­tend­ing,” he said.

Year 12 stu­dents from both Coly­ton High and St Marys Se­nior High are also volunteering as coaches and ref­er­ees.

This sport­ing pro­gram is also aim­ing to cre­ate a stronger learn­ing com­mu­nity in the area.

“We have de­vel­oped a strong science pro­gram with these schools now and look­ing to con­tinue with lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy in the fu­ture,” Mr Wawszkow­icz said.

Coly­ton High School has seen a 25 per cent in­crease in en­rol­ments as a re­sult of the pro­gram and hopes to con­tinue to ex­pand it.

Skye Wil­liams, 8, has a ball play­ing football dur­ing the pro­gram. Pic­ture: CARMELA ROCHE

Pic­ture: CARMELA ROCHE

Ox­ley Park Public School stu­dents try out net­ball dur­ing the Coly­ton Learn­ing Com­mu­nity Sports pro­gram.

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