Pupils’ active program celebrates first year

November 29, 2023 BY

Active Our Way participants from St Leonards Primary School. Photos: SUPPLIED

A UNIQUE program developed by Bellarine Community Health (BCH) to give school students the opportunity to design their own activity programs has celebrated its first anniversary.

The “Active OUR Way” program is a partnership project with St Leonards, Leopold and Portarlington primary schools.

More than 430 pupils across the three schools were involved in designing their own fun, active living activities and programs.

The BCH Healthy and Connected Communities team ran design workshops, and pupils from St Leonards Primary School were supported to become Active OUR Way champions.

More than 300 pupils attended learn to snorkel and learn to skate programs, with most of the students having never tried those activities before.

Following the sessions, most pupils said they felt more confident to try snorkelling or skating again.

“I enjoyed snorkelling a lot,” one St Leonards Primary pupil said. “I saw lots of different sea creatures and it was a great experience for me. It was my first time.”

Another student said: “It was amazing, getting to breathe while my head was underwater and seeing a banjo shark.”

As part of the snorkel program, pupils received a free snorkel set to keep practicing snorkelling with their families.

St Leonards Primary School principal Jenny Cowburn said her pupils thoroughly enjoyed the activities throughout the first year of the program and their end-of-year celebrations.

“The Active OUR Way student leadership team worked hard to make the various activities a success and they received really enthusiastic and proactive support from the team at Bellarine Community Health.

“BCH nurtured the students’ leadership skills, and we really appreciate the support the team has given us to focus on creating an active and healthy lifestyle for students at St Leonards Primary.”

Two school communities have also recently received a Landcare grant to deliver their snorkel program in 2024 through a Land, Sea & Me – Bellarine Environmental Health & Wellbeing Program.

“We’re thrilled that we were able to work directly with students, to listen, design and bring their ideas to life over the past 12 months,” BCH Healthy Communities planner Chloe McKenzie said.

“We are looking forward to continuing to work with our Active OUR Way school communities in 2024 to continue to support their activities and recruit more student champions.”

For more information about the BCH Healthy and Connected Communities team activities, head to bch.org.au/live-well