Through the support of Sport Waitakere and Kiwisport, AFL New Zealand is delivering AFL KiwiKick to 2400 primary school children within West Auckland. AFL New Zealand will continue with these programmes, as they deliver on key outcomes that encourage children to live healthy lifestyles through sport.
As a result of their involvement in the AFL KiwiKick programme, participants will develop a connection to the sport of AFL and can go on to be lifelong participants in sport through a structured pathway available to all participants.
The Waitakere Project has so far been a stunning success, increasing the number of active participants in sport and delivering on key outcomes.
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. Qualified AFL KiwiKick coaches deliver focused and fun sessions during school hours, with every child receiving six sessions of coaching.
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To follow on from the six 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. This opportunity has been taken up enthusiastically, with more than 10% of the total roll taking part at all schools involved. Especially Henderson North School with 50 participants. “The AFL KiwiKick programme has been a great addition to the School and has introduced the students to a new sport where everyone is involved. Even those students who don’t normally participate in sport are giving it a go.” Henderson North teacher Leandro Piantelli has certainly seen the benefits of the AFL KiwiKick programme.
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.
An encouraging number of teachers have taken up the opportunity. Across the region more than sixty teachers have completed the accreditation process. The training is useful not just for teaching AFL, but for teaching all sports offered at the school.
Finally, every school involved with the AFL KiwiKick programme receives a resource kit to assist with ongoing activity. A combination of newly acquired teaching skills through the coaching accreditation process and the resource kit ensures that students can continue to play AFL. This kit includes footballs, goalposts, cones, and more.
The most important element of the resource kit is an AFL KiwiKick Coaching manual. This features detailed diagrams of skills, games and lesson plans, providing teachers and volunteer coaches with all the information they need to successfully run AFL KiwiKick sessions.
For more information about AFL KiwiKick or AFL New Zealand, please visit aflnz.co.nz.