Kauri Park School AFL KiwiKick Programme

Term 2 2013 will be an exciting time at Kauri Park School. AFL KiwiKick is back for another year as part of phase two of the Beachaven Birkdale Kiwisport Project.

The first two sessions of a six session programme have now been completed, and enthusiasm is high for the next month of classes. Every one of the 326 students who attend Kauri Park Primary School will participate in the six fundamental movement skill sessions of the AFL KiwiKick programme.

AFL-KiwiKick-ballEach class receives up to 45 minutes per week of quality coaching from AFL New Zealand employees who work alongside class teachers and volunteers.

Some of the children have remembered the skills they learnt from last years visits and wasted no time showing off their handpassing. For the rest, the first few sessions have been a great chance to learn some new skills, get outside and enjoy the benefits of active participation.

Already in just two sessions there has been strong improvement in the skills of kick, catch pass and bounce and further progression is expected over the next four sessions. With encouragement from AFL New Zealand staff and teachers, many students are also becoming more confident in their own abilities with the ball.

More than 10 teachers at Kauri Park have commenced active involvement in the AFL KiwiKick sessions and on completion will be the recipients of either an Orientation or Level 1 AFL KiwiKick Coaching Accreditation. Every teacher is provided with a lesson plan booklet as part of the coaching accreditation process. This means that for the lucky kids at Kauri Park, AFL can be a regular feature of the schools sporting activities.

To follow on from the six sessions during school time, children have access to an after school programme that will take place every Tuesday within the school grounds directly after school. This provides the participants with easy access in a familiar setting and also provides parents with the opportunity of attending.

Parent involvement in conjunction with trained coaches provides the best possible environment for skills to develop at an amazing rate.

Not only do the participants receive further opportunity to play AFL KiwiKick, they also are provided with a bag, hat and their very own ball. At this stage good numbers for the afterschool programme are indicating a strong interest in children continuing their association with a new and fun sport.

AFL KiwiKick coordinator Tamara Maher is looking forward to getting to know the kids over the course of the term. One of the strengths of the AFL KiwiKick Programme is the fun relationships children build with their coaches as they are introduced to a number of new skills that can be used in a variety of sports.

AFL New Zealand has recently commenced Community Centres that operate between October to March each year to provide children with a continued pathway in the sport of AFL.

“Play AFL” Clubs will open at North Harbour Stadium and Onepoto Domain this October with competitions available for not only the children form Kauri Park School but also teenagers, adults, female, male and mixed competitions as well.

Funding provided by Harbour Sport Regional Sports Trust has made the programme at Kauri Park School possible. The enjoyment and skills that the kids develop through AFL KiwiKick will be invaluable for other sports they may play and will encourage them to live more active lifestyles through sport.