Get the ready, set, raring to go for life
If the reaction of the nearly 700 kids at the Get Set Go launch is anything to go by, then the latest move to increase the activity level of school children is already a hit.
Four Porirua schools joined others from Lower Hutt and Wellington at the ASB Indoor Sports Centre in Kilbirnie on March 29 for the launch.
Despite the huge number of youngsters present, all were enthusiastic participants in sessions cleverly designed to leave no-one out.
Get Set Go is an Athletic New Zealand programme for children aged four to eight, that aims to develop the basic skills they need to effectively participate in sport and games. A range of activities have been developed that help kids learn to run, jump, throw, catch and work as a team.
It’s a response to big changes over the past 20 years in the way children use their leisure time, said Get Set Go manager Karen Laurie.
‘‘The influence of electronic media and computer games means that the level of outdoor play has dropped. Kids are still playing, but not as much as they used to so some may not have mastered those basic movement skills.’’
The feedback from teachers and coaches in schools and clubs using the programme has been extremely positive, she said.
‘‘A key theme emerging from this feedback is how the programme has given them the knowledge base and tools they need to teach basic skill elements to children, but in a fun, play-based approach that children really respond to.’’
Principal funder, Kiwisport manager Peter WoodmanAldridge, said his group was pleased to bring the programme on board to become part of the Fundamental Movement Skills Programme.
‘‘Competence in these foundation movement skills plays a central role in healthy cognitive, social, physical and emotional growth,’’ he said.
Others helping fund the pro- gramme include Sport Wellington and New Zealand Post.
Over the last 18 months Kiwisport has invested $492, 540 in the overall project, which has seen 17,212 children from schools across Porirua and the Hutt Valley receive at least one block of eight lessons.
The Fundamental Movement Skills Programme also includes Learn to Swim, Movemprove – the Gymsports NZ foundation programme – and Football in Schools.
‘‘These foundation skills will help the kids to gain confidence, therefore giving them the selfbelief to try their hand and many different sports, creating many new opportunities for them,’’ said Mr WoodmanAldridge. ‘‘Children who develop competence in these important building blocks in early primary school years have been shown to have greater participation levels in physical activity experiences, both throughout later schooling and in adult life.’’
Information on the Fundamental Movement Skills programme at sportwellington.org.nz
Teamwork? They’re on the same side but Jayde Burns, second left, is determined to hold back Ngati Toa School team-mates Ella Attree and Shayla Wineera-roberts. Meanwhile Dazmin Metuariki, far left, and Liam Morrison check out where the opposition is.