Little Life

Sports:

Football , Tennis , Netball , Gymnastics

Location:

Blaenau Gwent

Introducing little ones to basic skills?  Then take the example of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and get the parents involved!

It wasn't that long ago that there weren't any classes or sports sessions available to young children in Blaenau Gwent.

Until, that is, the local authority decided it was high time that if you were aged between three and eight years old, then you should be able to join in the fun!

But the sports development team at Blaenau Gwent didn't want any old sport sessions. They wanted to offer sessions that would teach fundamental movement skills (it's what we call physical literacy).

Not only did they want children to learn how to run, throw, catch, jump and skip but they wanted to teach parents the importance of these skills too.

Victoria Price explains, "We wanted our children in the area to have a head start. If they were given the basic skills, taught in a fun way, it would mean that they would venture to sports clubs with confidence. It would be more likely that they would enjoy a range of sports and continue playing them."

So Little Life was set up back in January 2012. It teaches young children all the fundamental movements through mini versions of sports such as football, tennis, netball and gymnastics.

With a handy investment of £6,500 from Sport Wales and the support of community clubs in the area such as Tredegar Netball Club, Ebbw Vale Junior Netball Club and Valleys Gymnastics Academy, local children are now reaping the rewards.

Parents are even given homework to do. They receive practical ideas and skills to teach at home so they too can help their children with physical literacy.

 

And the results?

 

  • 79% of parents felt their child's confidence had increased
  • 79% felt their child's skill level had grown
  • 73% had seen an increase in their child's agility, balance and coordination
  • Local sports clubs have also noted a huge difference in skill levels

Victoria adds, "One parent explained that his son was shy and didn't interact that well with other children. But being involved in the Little Life sessions has really brought him out of his shell. He is sociable with the other children and is more confident. His Dad also said that he has much more energy and is fitter."

Parents get in on the action at Ebbw Vale mini kickers too! They are the first sport's centre in the area to let parents have a go! It took a bit of extra planning and some arm twisting of parents but the response has been brilliant. It means a greater number of children can take part in the session as the parents can help teach the skills - once they've been shown by the coach of course!

If you would like to find out more, contact Victoria Price, 01495 355324, victoria.price@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk

Twitter: @BGInspire Facebook: BG Inspire

In the News

£1.78 million to get children hooked on sport for life

Education and Skills Minister Huw Lewis and Culture and Sport Minister John Griffiths have today announced £1.78 million for a new Physical Literacy Programme for Schools (PLPS).

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