Central Coast preschools Move like a Mariner
The Sector > Provider > General News > Young Central Coast residents ‘Move like a Mariner’ as part of fitness initiative

Young Central Coast residents ‘Move like a Mariner’ as part of fitness initiative

by Freya Lucas

June 20, 2024

Children from preschools on the New South Wales Central Coast are being encouraged to draw inspiration from their local A-League soccer team and ‘Move like a Mariner’ as part of a new initiative designed to boost physical activity. 


The Move like a Mariner program teaches fundamental movement skills to children aged three to five years of age, and will return to early childhood education and care (ECEC) services across the Coast from July.


During the six-week program educators are provided with resources and take part in an interactive workshop to increase their confidence to teach these crucial developmental skills in fun and engaging ways.


The program is a joint initiative between Central Coast Local Health District’s Health Promotion Service and the Central Coast Mariners, and when it was offered in 2023, more than 3,300 children from 53 local ECEC services took part. 


As well as guidance on physical activity, the program includes information about healthy snacks and the importance of drinking water. Particpating services are given an equipment kit and go into a draw to win a visit from two Mariners players, or the top prize of a visit from the entire team.


In a new twist for 2024, children who participate in the program will also receive a Mariners match day experience.


Kindihub Preschool received the team visit in 2023, and for Director Irena Petrikova, it was an occasion which is likely to lead to a lifetime of positive memories for the children. 


“We’re so grateful to Central Coast Health and the Central Coast Mariners for organising the visit,” she shared with Coast Community News.


“There were so many smiles on the children’s faces. The program has been so easy to implement, and the children and their families have really loved it too.”


Ms Petrikova believes the educator workshop was key to the success of the program because it gave her team a number of easy to implement ideas to make the teaching of fundamental movement skills “really engaging.”


“Now, with any sort of physical activity we do, we identify with the children what skill they’re learning,” she said.


“It’s become part of the daily routine.”


The program is delivered in parallel with the NSW Health Munch & Move initiative, which promotes the importance of healthy eating, physical activity, and reduced screen time for young children.


Eligible preschools can register for this year’s Move like a Mariner program by contacting Central Coast Health Promotion Service on (02) 4320 9700.

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