School Sports

SCHOOL SPORTS - THE GOOD GUYS GOOD TO BE ACTIVE PRORGAM

In 2004, it was identified that many students with a disability did not have access to structured sporting sessions during school hours, prompting Total Recreation to start working in schools.

As outlined in the School Sports survey conducted during 2009, 67% of students involved in the School Sports program had never previously been involved in structured sporting activities. It also highlighted that 81% of the students surveyed also felt that their involvement in the School Sports program had motivated them to become more active outside of school hours.  A separate survey was also conducted with the teachers and support staff who attended the program. They identified that students involved had developed skills, increased fitness and gained confidence from their involvement.

The program has developed over the years to include over 200 students from the majority of Darwin and rural schools on a weekly basis. The program is delivered each week through a variety of sessions in schools, and includes the swimming carnival, NT Table Cricket Championships and the Nemarluk and Henbury athletics carnivals. The program provides a safe and inclusive environment in which students with a disability develop sporting skills, become part of a team and experience all of the advantages of being involved in physical activity.

A further pathway of this program is a gymnastics group, a swimming squad and athletics, all of which practice after school and involve athletes with a disability. These athletes were introduced to the sport during the School Sports program and many of them regularly represent the Northern Territory at high level events including the Arafura Games and the Special Olympics Nation Games.

Physical activity is important in the development of any child. The School Sports program aims to close the gap between students with a disability and their peers, providing an equal access to structured physical activity during school hours.