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Kids taste big time sports


Kids taste big time sports

Big names in New Zealand sports will pass on their experience with primary school children at Wellington’s premier sporting facility, Westpac Stadium, at the annual Pelorus Trust Stadium Sports Festival being held on Tuesday 18 March.

Organised by Sport Wellington, the eleventh annual Pelorus Trust Stadium Sports Festival aims to give school children in years 5 and 6 the opportunity to “have-a-go” at sports they might not generally experience. It is hoped they will find a sport they enjoy and want to play regularly either through school, KiwiSport programmes, or sport clubs.

“An extremely strong level of coaches, former internationals, professional coaches, and experience will be on hand to help Sport Wellington staff and volunteers give the kids a taste of different sports,” says organiser David Fa’atafa, from Sport Wellington. “It’s exciting these sports are able to come together to expose their codes at a grass-roots level."

The Pelorus Trust Stadium Sports Festival is also a celebration that over 6000 children from across the Wellington Region will have experienced a large number of sporting codes at the same sports ground, during one day. This year a record 67 schools applied to attend the regional event, of which only 20 spots were available.

For the first time in the festivals history, 20 different sports will be delivered at the event, including AFL.

After the excitement of the historic first Australian Football League (AFL) competition outside of Australia taking place in Wellington last year, it will be great to give a new wave of children a chance to experience this growing sport while offering samples of other the sports at ‘stations’ around the Westpac Stadium.

One new sport showcased this year is basketball, which is popular among Wellington children in the 11 - 14 age group, according to a recent Sport NZ survey (www.sportwellington.org.nz/young-peoplessurvey/).

Basketball will add to the variety of other traditional codes of netball, rugby, football, cricket and hockey as well as the more unfamiliar sports such as fencing, ultimate frisbee. The traditional Maori game of Horo Hopu, as well as futsal and karate will also be available for the children to try.

Fa’atafa says the day is a festival of ‘having a go’ at new sports, of being active and will include some friendly competition. The regional event has become so popular it has spawned satellite sports festivals in Lower Hutt and Wellington City, which will give more local schools greater opportunity to take part.

Wellington Regional Stadium Trust provides the hallowed grounds of Westpac Stadium for the day to ‘give back’ to the regional community. Sport Wellington also acknowledges the help of Pelorus Trust for its huge support of the festival and Pak N Save Kilbirnie for feeding the army of volunteers and coaches helping on the day.

The Pelorus Trust Stadium Sports Festival begins at 10am and finishes at 2pm, with a lunch break between 12.10 and 12.40pm. There is a postponement day of 25 March.


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