Sport Wellington completes three year interschool project
Sport Wellington completes three year interschool sport project
Sport Wellington has recently seen the completion of a three year project undertaken by their Young Persons team, to demonstrate and facilitate the benefits of interschool sport in the Lower Hutt Southern Zone (LHSZ).
Since 2011, Sport Wellington has worked with the seven primary schools within the LHSZ - Hutt Central, Gracefield, Our Lady of the Rosary, Sacred Heart (Petone), Te Ara Whanui Kura Kaupapa Maori, Randwick and Petone Central.
The purpose of the project was to provide advice and support to the schools sport convenors to enable sporting opportunities to continue for the children, while demonstrating the effectiveness of having a paid person in the role of LHSZ sports coordinator who could commit the time and knowledge required. For the duration of the project, Sport Wellington and LHSZ worked closely to influence the engagement of more participants in interschool sport, provide improved quality events and to develop sustainability within the administration of the zone.
Young Persons Advisor Georgina Duindam states the importance of interschool sport and says Sport Wellington wants to ensure students continue to experience the benefits of interschool sport participation. “Interschool sport provides the opportunity for children to engage with a wider group of their peers, in a greater variety of activities than one school could provide and to offer pathways for children to realise their potential in a variety of sports.”
“Interschool sport events are also hugely beneficial to the schools participating as they have the opportunity to promote themselves and to showcase their school culture and values to the wider community” adds Georgina.
As a result of Sport Wellington’s intervention, a paid coordinator position was established for the LHSZ, made possible with the assistance of KiwiSport funding, through a process that has been developed to provide a sustainable model transferable into other zones and in the first instance potentially impacting on 1,771 children.
Other results seen are an increase in the number of sporting opportunities offered to schools, sustainable partnerships between schools, sports clubs and regional sports organisations, improved communication within the zone and better quality events as well as happier teachers who feel more supported in their roles when organising events.
Leanne of Hutt Central School says having a dedicated sports coordinator has been hugely beneficial, “our sports coordinator has taken a huge workload off me, I personally would find it hard to do my job without him.”
“Our zone is very well organised, events run smoothly and we have excellent communications,” Leanne adds.
Since the new structure has been put in place, new interschool events have been added to the yearly sports calendar which is both more participatory and inclusive of Year 4 – 8. In 2013 this has included involving Year 7-8 in interschool swimming and cross country competitions as well as participatory events such as cricket and basketball. From 2012 – 2013 there has been an 80% increase in participation numbers.