Active Voice with Debbie Garea Sport BOP Fundamentals Advisor
Not every child wants to be a sporting star or elite athlete – but every child does have a desire and ability to move. However, the way we encourage and foster this ability will determine how long our children are engaged in sport and recreation.
One of the biggest barriers to a lifelong love of sport and recreation is confidence, and through the GO4it programme, it is our aim to increase students’ confidence in physical activity and fundamental movements.
Established in 2011, GO4it is a fundamental skills programme for five to 11-year-olds that focuses on key areas of movement, designed to develop the lifelong skills required to participate in sport and recreation for life.
Starting with 22 schools, GO4it now has more than 6000 students participating from 41 schools in the Bay of Plenty region: 18 in Western, 12 in Eastern and 11 in Central.
Delivered by a team of experienced and qualified Fundamental Skills Coordinators, GO4it starts with basic movements in the Junior GO4it (Years 0-2), incorporated into kid-friendly games and activities.
This progresses to Multiskills for Years 3-4, which includes upskilling students in utilising big and small balls, and striking. Finally, the senior sessions include Hit It, Kick It and Pass It, using more sport-specific activities to improve students’ movement.
It’s amazing the effect it has had on students’ behaviours – and not just during their time in the GO4it sessions.
“During the programme our children are all engaged, as it is very inclusive and they all have the opportunity to succeed,” says principal Bridget Rika from St Joseph’s School in Matata.
“One of our students didn’t participate often in sport, and now includes himself and attempts everything. It is great to see his progress through this programme”.
Jacqui van der Beek, Year 3 teacher at Omanu Primary School, says, “I have an autistic boy in my class and because I could put time into including him in the session he got involved. He now plays outside at lunchtime, has made new friends and feels he can participate in games”.
Omanu Primary Year 5-6 teacher Penny Deane adds, “There are significant spin-offs from the lessons, including a general bonding of kids who hadn’t spent a lot of time together before!”
What’s more, the Fundamental Skills Coordinators work closely with the teachers, to ensure they have the ability to continue running the programme and provide professional development to upskill their own physical literacy. It’s a win-win for both students and teachers.
In fact, at the end of term two, 10 schools from Rotorua participated in Junior GO4it teacher workshop, run by Athletics NZ using the Get Set Go Programme. This enabled them to plan and develop sessions around locomotor, manipulative and body management skill themes, all with a child centred framework supporting children’s physical, social, emotional and cognitive development. The next Junior GO4it teacher workshop will be held in Tauranga in term three.
Fundamental Skills Coordinator (WBOP) Shan at Omanu Primary School.
GO4it continues to grow each year as more schools from the Bay of Plenty region embrace the Professional Development that is included in the programme with high-quality delivery throughout the year.
We would like to thank TECT for funding the Western Bay of Plenty GO4it Programme.