With the upcoming regional Gymsports festivals across the Matamata Piako region, our Sport Waikato Energizers have been in schools providing professional development to teachers in the area of gymnastics. One of our goals has been to break down the barriers to involvement, particularly for boys who traditionally do not enjoy gymnastics or see it is a ‘girly’ sport.
There are many advantages for all children who explore through gymnastics. Children are provided with the opportunity to develop their strength, flexibility and coordination. These skills are integral to all physical activity and will benefit children in a range of other sports and give them the confidence to physically compete in all activities in life. Children are challenged to conquer fear and perform tasks they may view as scary, helping them to grow up more assertive and self-assured.
To remove the barriers our Energizers Nicole and Sophie modelled session to teachers where the tasks set were achievable and equally challenging for all abilities, by allowing children to experiment and by holding a real value for the aspect of fun. With so many benefits for students wellbeing, both physically and socially it is great to see teachers seeking support to develop their knowledge and teaching practice through the help Energize.
The children at Manamaru School had a great success with our modelling sessions and many boys were surprised with how much fun gymnastics could be.
Our rangatahi are trying to tell us something: whatever we are doing to encourage them to choose physical activity is not working for them.
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