15 December 2020
In 2018 when Liz first met her students, she knew she was going to need to find something that would not only develop their social skills but teach them the benefits of teamwork.
‘They’re not bad kids, just misunderstood. Some of them have been through some challenging situations and it has had an impact on how they behave,’ said Liz.
‘My colleague Jak and I wanted to give them something constructive to do outside of the classroom, an opportunity to be a part of something, a chance to ignite their passion and develop a sense of belonging.’
After hearing about Sporting Schools, Liz applied for a grant. She knew her students would respond well to a physical sport, so she decided on Rugby Australia’s Deadly 7s program.
The program ran after school, one day a week for 60 minutes. Enlisting the help of Rugby WA coaches, she promoted the program to the boys in years 5 and 6.
‘The response was amazing! After a few short weeks these disengaged kids were focusing better in class, they were able to regulate their emotions, and they started to display initiative. This outcome was all due to having a dedicated program organised through Sporting Schools.’
So passionate and enthusiastic were her students that they developed their own lunchtime rugby coaching clinics, so they could pass on the skills they were learning, to the younger children.
‘When the Western Force heard about the boys coaching in their lunchtime, they sent a media crew to come to the school and film them,’ Liz said.
The Western Force were so inspired by the boy’s commitment and passion for the sport, they invited them to come and watch one of their Friday night games at NIB Stadium in Perth.
‘They made a huge fuss over the boys, playing their coaching video to the crowd at half-time and interviewing some of them on the big screen! The boys absolutely loved it. We all did. It was a definite career highlight. They made excellent ambassadors for our school, showing just how far they had come. I was incredibly proud of them,’ Liz said.
After the success of 2018, Liz and Jak expanded the program, opening it up to include girls. Fast-forward to 2020 and the program has a total of 60 year 4, 5 and 6 students (both girls and boys) engaging in after-school sport.
‘The impact Sporting Schools has had on the kids has been incredibly positive. Many of them have joined a local sporting club to continue to build on their skills while others have learnt the value of hard work and what it means to be part of a team,’ Liz said.
Alkimos Primary has been a part of Sporting Schools for the past three years.
‘The school has only been in operation for five short years and for three of those we have participated in Sporting Schools. Having access to the program has meant more to the school than just getting our students involved in sport, it’s taught them valuable lessons for life,’ Liz said.
Find out how your school can get involved in Sporting Schools.