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PENZ welcomes the Minister's Announcement

October 5, 2004

Physical Education New Zealand (PENZ) has welcomed the Minister of Education’s announcement today that will see physical activity provision given greater support in primary schools.

The opportunities that physical activity provides as a medium for learning have often been over-looked and undervalued in the education of children and young people. Initiatives that provide for learning in, through and about physical activity will undoubtedly offer children the chance to become more physically educated, and PENZ believes that children who experience quality physical education programmes are more likely to be active for life.

“There has been considerable focus on linking physical inactivity to physical health issues over recent times and PENZ is encouraged by the growing awareness of the need for children and young people to be provided with meaningful physical education programmes and to experience fun and enjoyment through relevant activities. The associated educational and social benefits should not be underestimated ” says Lorna Gillespie, President of PENZ.

Earlier this year, SPARC contracted PENZ to complete consultation with a range of education, sport, physical activity and health agencies and organisations that work within or provide resources to the education sector. Clear messages from organisations included the need for a collaborative and coordinated approach to the provision of physical activity in education settings, as well as links between curriculum and co-curricular provision of physical activity and therefore the collaboration of the Ministry of Education and SPARC signals positive support for these principles.

PENZ also views the announcement of teacher support in the form of resources and professional development as a very encouraging response to consultation, which called for significant improvement in teacher pre-service and in-service professional development for the implementation of the Health and Physical Education Curriculum.

“The Health and Physical Education curriculum is an excellent document, which is yet to be implemented to its full potential,” says Lorna Gillespie. “Increased understanding of the role of physical activity and its relationship to physical education will benefit children considerably and enable the development of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that can be applied both within and outside of physical activity settings.”

ENDS

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