Learning to run, jump and throw in Hope

District of Hope becomes pilot project for physical literacy program

Running, jumping, throwing.

These are just a few of the life skills that children can carry with them through to adulthood. But they’re also skills that not everyone has a chance to acquire growing up, says Eric Sinker.

He’s setting out to change that, teaching physical literacy to anyone who works with young children.

Sinker is developing programs through PacificSport Fraser Valley, based out of Abbotsford, that will show teachers, early childhood educators, daycare operators, coaches and even parents and grandparents how to motivate kids to move while instilling the foundations of sport.

Hope is the first community to hop on board the active learning programs, through Recreation Services.

Sinker sees Hope as a pilot program, which will begin with a Community Introduction to Physical Literacy on Saturday, February 18 at the Hope Recreation Complex. That introduction will explain two upcoming workshops, Kids CanMove (March 10) and Run, Jump, Throw (March 17).

Participants at all three sessions should be prepared to do a little moving themselves.

“Not one of these workshops includes sitting in a chair all day,” Sinker says.

The workshops were designed with help from Kim Richardson at Recreation Services, and reflect the needs of Hope as a community, Sinker says. As he sets out to work with other communities, workshops will also be tailored to fit.

“My job is really to promote the idea of sport for life,” he says.

The goal with physical literacy isn’t to create sports superstars, but to show children the basics so they can feel comfortable — and more importantly, confident — trying any sport they choose.

“These are basic skills that are transferrable to any sport,” he says.

And even if a child never joins a sports team, these are skills that are important to being healthy in adulthood.

And that’s brings up another motive of the physical literacy workshops — getting adults active. Adults working with children don’t necessarily have a sports background, and taking in a few workshops can help them get more comfortable moving their own bodies.

Physical activity is a daily requirement in schools now, giving teachers the perfect opportunity to be role models.

“That can also be a huge obstacle, in that a teacher who is used to teaching academics is now being pushed into a situation where they’re teaching co-ed sports,” Sinker says.

“It’s a complete role reversal.”

He’s excited to see how the programs work in Hope, and will be working directly with teachers at Coquihalla elementary school later this month in addition to the workshops.

“The excitement is starting to build,” he said. “The momentum is starting to take hold.”

The Community Introduction to Physical Literacy is a two-hour, free session with Sinker, at 10:30 a.m. on February 18. This is open for everyone in the community who works with children, or has young children.

The physical literacy workshops in March are designed for recreation staff, coaches, ECE workers, teachers, child and youth workers and anyone else who works with children. They are all day workshops, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Hope Recreation Complex.

The program is supported by BC Athletics, the BC Sport Agency, the Provincial Government, Pacific Sport, Gymnastics BC and the Hope and District Recreation and Cultural Services.

RunJumpThrow is led by a Certified RJT Learning Facilitator and will provide participants with a thorough look at the skills of running, jumping and throwing as a basis for all land based sports. Technical progressions of each skills are identified and demonstrated to all participants in an active learning environment. Other modules include General Athletic Development, Why RJT, and Practical Application of

learning’s and RJT games.

Kids CanMove is run by a trained learning facilitator, and participants will learn the very basics of gymnastics skills that will provide children with the foundation movements that are transferrable to all types of sport and physical activities. Participants will be empowered to deliver this program within their community centres, schools, and day care centres with safety and knowledge of body movement and awareness. Participants will be active as they practically work through lesson plans and sessions utilizing minimal equipment to deliver these fundamental movement patterns.

For more information visit www.activeforlife.ca.

Space is limited and registration is through Recreation Services at 604-869-2304.

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