Harbour Play AFL Pathway set to begin

The Harbour Play AFL Pathway is set to begin across the region, through a partnership between AFL New Zealand and Harbour Sport.

Across six schools in the region, thousands of children will benefit from the Harbour Play AFL Pathway. Through the delivery of the highly regarded AFL KiwiKick programme, more children will learn fundamental movement skills, allowing them to become active participants in sport.

The Play AFL Pathway involves 6 in school AFL KiwiKick sessions, followed by an 8 week after school programme. The in school component of the Play AFL Pathway will be delivered to 2500 participants across the Harbour region.

For the first time ever, AFL New Zealand is in a position to offer the after school programme free of charge for up to 15% of each school roll across the region. This exciting development will significantly build on progress made in schools.

The Play AFL Pathway is continued through the operation of Play AFL Clubs, set to begin again in Term 4 of 2014. This important third step of the Play AFL Pathway offers participants a progression from learning AFL in schools, to becoming regular players at their local Play AFL Club. Free places in Play AFL Clubs will be offered to AFL KiwiKick after school participants, ensuring that many will go on to take advantage of every opportunity in the Play AFL Pathway.

AFL KiwiKick is delivered to boys and girls between the ages 5 and 12. The programme teaches children the fundamental movement skills of Kick, Catch, Pass and Bounce. These skills are valuable for a wide variety of sports, and the AFL KiwiKick programme ensures that everyone who participates is confident and competent with those skills.

A crucial facet of the Play AFL Pathway is the development of AFL sustainability within schools. Through ongoing professional development and coaching accreditation for teachers and a free resource kit provided on completion of AFL KiwiKick programmes, schools will have the enthusiasm and ability to continue playing AFL long after the completion of AFL New Zealand’s involvement.

The Play AFL Pathway will be delivered to six Primary Schools within the Harbour region. So far Hobsonville Primary School, Marina View School and Riverhead School have been confirmed, with a further three schools to be confirmed. Opportunities for schools to participate are still available, but are expected to be available for a limited time only.

AFL New Zealand has successfully delivered projects across Harbour over previous years. With an involvement now into the 4th year, AFL KiwiKick has been delivered in as part of cluster programmes to schools in the Oteha Valley, Hibiscus Coast and Beachhaven Birkdale areas.

AFL New Zealand was also a finalist in the 2013 Harbour Sport Excellence Awards, in the category of Innovation in Sport. The finalist nomination was recognition of the innovative use of clear and easy to use coaching manuals in AFL New Zealand programmes.

For more information about the Play AFL Pathway and AFL KiwiKick, contact National AFL KiwiKick Development Manager Reg Ranchhod, at aflkiwikick@aflnz.co.nz.