Four national and regional sporting bodies have collaborated to bring Sport New Zealand’s, ‘Balance is better’ approach to local schools on Auckland’s North Shore.
AFL New Zealand, Harbour Hockey, Harbour Volleyball and Harbour Badminton, in partnership with Harbour Sport and the Kiwisport initiative, are currently conducting a Schools project, that see’s all four sports introduced to over 17,000 students in the region.
The project targets both Primary and Secondary schools and has a major focus on providing ‘Out of School’ opportunities along with sustainable growth of sport at each of the schools.
With all four sports working together, they are able to tailor the needs for each school and target different areas within the community to ensure sustainable growth in youth sport.
The AFL KiwiKick programme teaches children not only the fundamental movement skills of Kick, Catch, Pass and Bounce but also stability and locomotive movement skills. 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 these skills. Qualified AFL KiwiKick coaches deliver focused and fun sessions during school hours.
To follow on from the sessions during school time, the children then have access to an after school programme that takes place 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.
The AFL KiwiKick programme also encourages teachers to be involved in the sessions and gain professional development. The teachers learn how to deliver AFL KiwiKick sessions and control games of AFL. This will ensure that children can continue to be active sporting participants utilising the teachers newly developed skills following the departure of AFL New Zealand coaches associated with the AFL KiwiKick programme.
As part of the project, each school was allocated a resource kit from each sport, ensuring unstructured play and organised lessons can continue for years to come.
“The resources we received enable us to use AFL as a context of learning during PE lessons. Students have more opportunities to develop movement skills as we have enough equipment for students to use without having to wait for a turn.” Teacher, Sherwood Primary.
With a focus on increasing school-aged children participating in sport, the AFL New Zealand pathway for participants within the project commences with the delivery of a selection of Secondary School programmes including taster sessions, opportunities to compete in school at class and house level and finally school representative opportunities.
Over the course of the KiwiSport project, 1832 students from 17secondary schools have received their first taste of AFL with students participating in the ‘Introduction to AFL‘ Programme.
Introduction to AFL teaches AFL skills and uses modified games to reach the end product of playing a full game of AFL. The programme can be combined with junior class units of work, linked to curriculum programmes and lead into competition programmes.
- Provides an affinity to the sport
- Develop skills that can be transferred across codes
- Leads into a Player Pathway for the students, promoting and increasing physical activity
- Links to curriculum – Ball Sports, International Sports, Evasion games, Invasion games
Outside of school time, opportunities continue with the pathway leading to the Regional Youth Competition that runs from October to December each year.
Further opportunities exist for participants to be selected in the AFL New Zealand Academy which focuses on improving the skills and fitness of athletes through use of a training and development programme.
Primary schools involved in the project;
- Bayview School
- Birkdale Intermediate
- Birkdale North Primary
- Coatesville Primary
- Glenfield Primary
- Greenhithe School
- Kingsway Primary School
- Kirstin School
- Kristin Junior School
- Long Bay Primary
- Marina View Primary
- Red Beach School
- Sherwood Primary
- Sunnybrae Normal School
- Sunnynook School
- Takapuna Normal Intermediate School
- Target School
- Timitanga Community school
- Torbay Primary
- Verran Primary
- Wairau Intermediate
- Wentworth Primary School
Secondary schools involved in the project;
- Albany Junior High School
- Albany Senior High School
- Birkenhead College
- Carmel College
- Hobsonville Point College
- Kaipara College
- Kingsway College
- Kristin Senior school
- Long Bay College
- Northcote College
- Orewa College
- Pinehurst school
- Rangitoto College
- Wentworth College
- Westlake Girls High School
- Westlake boys High School