Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE) and the Municipality of Saanich are collaborating on an after-schools program that promotes physical literacy to children in Grades 1 – 4. The program runs Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:45 pm – 4:45 pm at Tillicum School.
The program – called the Canadian Tire Jump Start Academy – started in April and will run through to the end of the school year in June. Twenty to 25 children are taking part in the sessions which teach them physical literacy – the fundamental movement skills and sports skills that they can then apply to other sports later on. Skills such as running, jumping, throwing, catching, and kicking, are taught through fun and dynamic games and sports.
“The program is partially funded by the Canadian Tire Jump Start program, and therefore calling it the Canadian Tire Jump Start Academy highlights that part of the partnership,” says Mena Westhaver, Community Recreation Programmer with Saanich Parks & Recreation. “This is a real community effort to get kids more physically active and socially engaged during the after school hours.”
Two PISE staff and one Saanich Education Assistant deliver the program. “We work towards progressing the students naturally through the stages of movement with play”, says Andie Pask, Physical Literacy Coordinator at PISE. “Our team is very aware of striking an ongoing balance between teaching and improving movement skills, and keeping the afternoon fun and playful. We want the children to feel they are successfully improving their skills; at the same time, we want them to develop a love for physical activity and have a positive social experience.”
PISE and Saanich hope to expand the program to other schools in the region in the fall.