ActiveVoice: Team effort to bring school sport to life
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Written by Melissa Gordon, Rangatahi Regional Schools Director
We, as parents, have a very small window of opportunity within which we can help children to choose lifelong participation patterns in sport.
This is why we need to ensure they have every opportunity to do so. As a Regional Sports Trust, it is our role to facilitate the development of a robust sporting structure to support this.
For primary and intermediate school sports, this means assisting schools to establish stronger communication networks, facilitating quality school sports events and ensuring that teachers and coaches are provided with the opportunity to receive ongoing professional development.
However, this sporting groundwork is unsustainable without parents who encourage involvement, support and coach junior teams and demand ongoing opportunities for their children.
The 2018 Primary and Intermediate School Sports Calendars have a comprehensive number of events available throughout the school terms for local schools to enter students in such as the more traditional codes of swimming, golf, rugby, cricket, gymnastics, basketball, tennis, badminton, squash, athletics and cross country… you name it!
There are also a few events that are perfect for those students wanting to give something else a go, such as the Rotorua Mini Marathon, Amazing Race, climbing, surfing or orienteering.
All the events on the School Sport Calendar are a collaborative effort between Sport Bay of Plenty and local clubs or associations, and as you can imagine these events involve a lot of support from schools and volunteers. Our goal is to increase participation in sport and to give all children the chance to participate in physical activity.
Sport BOP has established contacts in just about every school in the region and sends information about upcoming events and opportunities to these contacts on a weekly basis.
During 2017, nearly 10,000 children attended events on the school sport calendar throughout the year. This is an indicator that whatever we are doing collectively is working. That said, it also indicates an increasing workload for teachers and parents who currently coach and volunteer to make sport a reality. We need more coaches and volunteers to help spread the load!
Programs such as BayTrust Coach Force are designed to equip aspirant coaches with the essential skills to deliver quality coaching sessions for any age group and ability. If you have never coached before, then this might just be the opportunity to help get you started.
It is important now more than ever that we put our hands up, and ensure that our children receive all of these opportunities available.
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