On the ball: The Mini Movers program will target communities including Meredith, Teesdale and Bannockburn in coming months. Photo: SUPPLIED

Kids’ sport skills up Mini Movers

September 28, 2020 BY

LEISURE Networks’ active children’s program, Mini Movers is set to expand into the Golden Plains Shire.

Kate Anderson, Mini Movers coordinator said the early years sports initiative focuses on the physical ability of preschool-aged children, and her team wants to share it with those northwest of Geelong.

“We did some research with La Trobe University and found kids were heading into primary school with less than adequate fundamental movement and motor skills,” she said.

“Primary schools have a fair bit on offer when it comes to sport and physical activity, so we thought we’d bring something beneficial into the early years.

“We created Mini Movers, funded by Sport Australia in the first 12 months, and started running programs within kindergartens and early learning centres.”

Kate Anderson is passionate about strengthening children’s motor skills and nurturing a love of movement. Photo: SUPPLIED

Currently using sports like soccer, basketball and cricket to improve kids’ physicality, Ms Anderson said the activities help participants recognise they too have the ability to do things others do well.

“They can associate their movements and skills with something they might see in the community or on TV, hopefully gain knowledge and take that home. We want to benefit the whole family,” she said.

“School-readiness is a real focus for us. The program has been beneficial for other things like listening to instructions, lining up, taking turns, resilience and confidence.”

When COVID-safe to travel, Leisure Networks is initially looking to physically deliver Mini Movers at Meredith’s Community Centre and kindergarten.

They’re also keen to target the Teesdale and Bannockburn areas, but in the meantime, Mini Movers online resources have been developed.

“We’re really looking forward to opportunities to come to Golden Plains centres, and we’re putting plans in place for the program to be sustainable for the future, because we run it free of charge.

“We’ve been working on YouTube clips, and are looking to run parent and educator forums all about physical literacy and things they can do to assist kids in the times we’re not there,” Ms Anderson said.

Mini Movers recently received a $8000 Strengthening Community grant from the Shire, to support the provision of the program as it expands into Golden Plains communities.

Golf Australia has signed up as a partner during the pandemic, so Mini Movers will soon include golf skills.

Mini Movers will be a part Golden Plains Shire’s Children’s Week celebrations. Visit leisurenetworks.org/ln-resource/community-sport/mini-movers.