14 February 2018
Sport keeps bush fit children in school

THE new school year promises plenty of excitement for Groote Eylandt children, with the launch of Bush Fit Mob.

The ALC-funded program uses sport and recreation to help keep children in school.

It means children are getting active and enjoying school, which is helping to create a more positive atmosphere in the local communities.

Bush Fit Mob will run sporting activities on school grounds in the morning before classes start, and again during lunch breaks.

Director Nick Kenny said at other times, teachers could send children to Bush Fit Mob trainers as a reward, or to help re-engage children who are struggling to stay focused. 

“The trainers can help to provide some extra one-on-one attention and help children to debrief or unpack any personal issues in a fun, safe and positive chillout space,” he said.  

“There haven’t been enough active opportunities on offer for kids in community, so we’re going to be a constant presence in each of the schools.”

Bush Fit Mob will also engage peak sporting bodies such as Athletics Australia, Milo Cricket, Swimming Australia and Netball Australia to attend Angurugu, Umbakumba and Milyakburra to help deliver specialised, skill-development programs.

“Our goal is to help expose the children in community to a variety of different sports that they may not have tried before,” Nick said.

“We will also be using our funding to extend the visits of various service providers who come to Groote as part of the School Sports Voucher Schemes. This will enable us to really start embedding these programs in community,” Nick said.

Bush Fit Mob will also provide pathways and support for talented youth to go on to compete at both regional and state championships.

Program manager Atnas Maeko has had great success running a youth sport and recreation program in Gapuwiyak over the last five years.

IMAGE: A hip hop program was one of the first youth activities offered by Bush Fit Mob.