Jump around: UWA researchers boost activity in Goodstart centres
A ‘physical literacy’ program run by the University of Western Australia (UWA) at Goodstart Early Learning centres has encouraged educators to deliver programs to develop active skills, and helped researchers translate their findings into the community.
Run during a four-week period, with four 45-minute sessions, UWA employees visit the centres, providing educators with the skills and knowledge they need to run purposeful planned activity with the children.
Before the beginning of the KIDDO program, the team visits each centre to conduct a movement assessment of children aged three years or more. The centre and parents then receive an individual report of the results as well as recommendations for the continued development of the child’s physical literacy.
In a statement on its website, Goodstart explained that ‘physical literacy’ is all about developing not just the movement skills of children but just as importantly the motivation and confidence to be active.
KIDDO Program Director Amanda Derbyshire said the program, funded by Healthway, is a way for UWA researchers to translate their research findings into the community, and has helped educators deliver programs to encourage more children to develop the skills and confidence to be active.
“Children today are less active and less skilled than 20 years ago,” Ms Derbyshire said.
“If a child can learn to balance, run, jump and catch and most importantly enjoy being active, then this will give them the opportunity to be active across childhood, adolescence and into adulthood – whether by playing sport, going for a bike ride or exercising at the gym.”
WA State Manager Todd Dawson said between two and eight years old children had the best opportunity for developing the skills of running, jumping, catching and throwing.
“Just as important as the actual skills they are learning, are the confidence and motivation to be active,” Mr Dawson said. “Children who enjoy being active are a lot more likely to continue being active throughout their lives.”
For more information on the KIDDO program Visit www.kiddo.edu.au
For more information on how the system has worked at Goodstart, visit www.goodstart.org.au