Recently the Australian Sports Commission released findings from their youth participation research that identified the rapid decline in sport participation in children aged 13 to 17.
The report identified the greatest demographic of disengaged students in sport and physical activity as predominantly female, older and / or from culturally diverse backgrounds. These students are therefore less confident in trying a new sport or being physically active.
Penrhos acknowledges the importance of physical activity and recreation for their students. To offer a program that suits all ages and abilities, we have worked closely with the Curtin Sport and Recreation Team and coordinator Chris Earl to develop and implement a strategic plan to engage more of our students in physical activity.
The Have a Go program was developed to create long-term engagement for Penrhos students in non-competitive physical activity, to complete our robust competitive sport offerings. This is a program that mitigates some of the barriers around offering sport and recreation programs within a school environment – such as curriculum pressures, teacher capability, sport workforce and delivery network.
The Have a Go program offers an increased variety of classes and physical activity opportunities available for students to self-nominate their time before or after school. The classes range from fitness, yoga, pilates, badminton, self-defense and gymnastics. To maximise engagement, classes were initially facilitated for one hour, once a week, for up to eight weeks each term ensuring the program length was long enough for students to engage, learn and begin to master skills.
To ensure the high level of facilitation of the program, Curtin Sport and Recreation provides a highly trained and expert team across all program sessions. Skilled coaches and instructors are used from Curtin University sport clubs to identify methodology for maximum engagement.
The program has facilitated 44 different programs in 2018, with over 230 sessions held and the result is in our students being active for nearly 3,000 more hours in a range of activities. In November, Chris Earl was announced as the winner of the Curtin University Vice-Chancellor’s Award For Excellence in collaboration for the Have a Go Program at Penrhos College.
“I have been thrilled to see the 98% increase in participation hours from 2017 to 2018, including many students who have not previously chosen to be involved in physical fitness opportunities at the College. In responding to student interest and feedback, we look forward to adapting the program in 2019, to include increased access to personal trainers in the Penrhos gym for multiple mornings, the offering of badminton as a year-round recreational pursuit, and the addition of rock-climbing,” says Dean of Co-Curricular Paul McCarthy.