Kids In Community Sports Programme

Kids in Community Sports is a programme of the Fiji National Sports Commission that targets children in primary schools. The commission works with the Ministry of Education by promoting the
05 Mar 2017 14:25
Kids In Community Sports Programme
Students of Ratu Alipate Primary School in Naitasiri pose for a photo after the programme at the school.

Kids in Community Sports is a programme of the Fiji National Sports Commission that targets children in primary schools. The commission works with the Ministry of Education by promoting the concept of “give it a go” in variety of sports early in life to provide them this opportunity to explore through fun and games their potentials

There has been differences in how people view children and sport where some feel that early specialisation is good for children in their long term development while others feel that though this may be good from a performance perspective, a child normally would miss out on exploring sporting opportunities through trying out a variety of choices to decide what sport is best for them. Often when kids love a sport, and are good at it, our go-to plan is to give them more of that sport.

But did you know that getting your kids involved in multiple sports and a variety of physical activities can actually be better for them in the long run?

Coaches are making sure that they are aware of the benefits that teaching basic movement skills such as running, jumping, throwing and catching can have on a child at an early age. When these movements are combined with a focus on coordination and balance during sports and physical activities, it can have a positive impact on a child’s physical and athletic development.

As a parent, you can do your part by getting your child involved in a variety of sports and activities. And pay attention to how they are being coached, because a multisport approach has real benefits for kids. This approach can help your child be active for life by:

  1. Building a solid foundation. By providing diverse opportunities for physical activity, kids get the chance to learn movement skills, which can be transferred to a variety of sports. This makes it more likely that they will remain active and take part in different sports.
  2. Reaping the physical benefits. Through playing different sports kids develop flexibility, core stability, strength, stamina, power and speed, as well as improve their all-round physical conditioning.
  3. Preventing injury. When a child sticks with one sport from an early age, the possibility of injury increases as repetitive movements can strain their body and affect the development of muscles. Give your kids variety in their sport and play to help build their body and lessen the chance of pains and strains.
  4. Developing sport and life skills. Kids will develop important skills like problem-solving, communication, team work and working independently, which are all highly valued attributes in sport and life. It also helps build competence, confidence, connection, creativity, character and caring.

So if you’re looking to positively impact your child’s development, expand the amount of sports and physical activities that they try when they are young. Let them develop the fundamentals of movement first before focusing on becoming the next volleyball or swimming champion.

The Fiji National Sports Commission has been going to schools promoting this concept since its inception in 2014. So far we have reached out to more than 25, 658 school children Fiji wide through this program. The commission works with National Sporting Organisations who promote their sports through this initiative. While sporting organisations struggle with financing these initiatives, the commission provides them the opportunity through these programs.

In the past week, the commission conducted a Kids in Community Sports Program in the interior of Wainimala in Naitasiri which targeted the following schools; Naboubuco District School, Ratu Alipate Primary School, Lutu District School, Naboro Sawannikula Primary School, Nakurukuruvakatini Primary School, Naivucini District School and Nailogobokala Primary School, Rara District School  The schools were introduced to the sports of basketball, cricket, tennis and AFL. It is always a joy to watch children in our rural schools and communities have a go at a sport they have never tried before and have so much fun trying it out.

Program coordinator, Elesi Ikanidrodro Sports Development Officer Central was pleased with the effort after successfully coordinating this program in the interior of Viti Levu.  She commends the head teachers and students of the schools for their participation in the programs. The turnout by parents at the schools programs shows how much support they had for their children as well as the desire to see their children try out new sports. Despite the wet weather and rugged terrains, the team was committed to ensuring all targeted schools had a chance to try out a new sport and explore for themselves their personal abilities and talent. Who knows, one day a future champion may come out of these communities only because someone gave him the opportunity early in life to try a sport he never dreamt of playing. 782 school children participated in the four day program. Sporting bodies that participated in the program donated sports equipment to the schools to enable teachers to continue with teaching and supervising children playing the sport.

More programmes are planned to the end of the financial year as follows;  14-17 March – Namosi,  29 – 4 April – Kadavu , 10-13 April – Nadi, Naleba, Labasa , 18-21 April – Lami, 9-11 May – Nasinu, 10-12 May – Sigatoka, 22-25 May – Serua, 29 May – 9 June – Wainibuka, 6-9 June – Sawani and Wailevu West, Cakaudrove, 20-21 July – Nadi, 27 – 29 July  – Lautoka. Sporting bodies that wish to be part of the program can contact the Fiji National Sports Commission for more details.

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