Sancta Maria Catholic Primary School AFL KiwiKick Programme

The children attending Sancta Maria Catholic Primary School were provided with the opportunity to play AFL KiwiKick in Term 1 of 2013.

AFL New Zealand’s involvement with the school is part of a successful Kiwisport programme funded by Counties Maunkau Sport that will see over 5000 children exposed to the AFL KiwiKick programme. and it’s associated fundamental skills.

Each participant receives a 45 minute session each week for six weeks. AFL New Zealand provides trained employees and has them working alongside the teachers who are actively involved in every session. The children learn and refine the fundamental movement skills of kicking, catching, passing and bouncing. They also had a lot of fun in the process, with a variety of exciting and educational games during the school visits.

Each of these skills that can be cross referenced to a variety of traditional sports as well as AFL.

Active participation is encouraged and the sessions help promote living a healthy lifestyle through sport.  The children love the opportunity to learn the skill of kicking through the well organised lesson plans.

AFL KiwiKick co-ordinators Sam Owles and Alex Braae enjoyed getting to know the children over the course of the term. Beyond the physical aspects of the programme, classes were encouraged to utilise the AFL KiwiKick sessions as a topic to practice their writing skills.

To follow on from the six sessions during school time, the children had access to an after school programme that took place every Wednesday 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.

As part of the AFL KiwiKick programme, the Sancta Maria School was provided with a resource kit that includes footballs as well as all the necessary equipment required to continue playing the new sport.

More than 12 teachers at Sancta Maria have completed active involvement in the AFL KiwiKick sessions and have been 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 Sancta Maria, AFL can be a regular feature of the schools sporting activities.

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 Papatoetoe Sports Centre and this October with competitions available for not only the children from Sancta Maria School but also teenagers, adults, female, male and mixed competitions as well.

Funding provided by Counties Maunkau Sport 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.