So why does Profile Training Group deliver football-based motor play to early childhood centres in the Christchurch Region?
From our experience in delivering football sessions to a range of ages, we identified that exposure to sports and exercise in the early ages increases one’s participation in sport later in life. Our programme challenges children aged 2-5 using football-based motor play through 30min-1hr sessions. We use a range of warm-up activities, imagination, kicking, dribbling, and passing of the ball.
Our sessions not only focus on the physical skills of the child but also the cognitive, communicative and social skills. For example, a child is required to weave the ball through four cones using the dribbling technique. Physically, the child is required to use their feet to move the ball and not their hands. Cognitively, the child is having to use decision-making skills about where they are moving the ball in relation to the cones, they are needing to concentrate and judge speed/ distance. Thirdly, their communication skills are being used by observing their coach showing them how to complete the activity and listening to instructions. Finally, their social skills are being challenged by learning to line up and wait their turn which is key for teaching patience and sharing.
We have also found that each child in each centre sits differently on the spectrum of ability due to age, gender, exposure to the outdoors, parenting styles, cultures and siblings. These variables impact the child’s motor, cognitive, social and communication skills and affect their ability to complete an activity. Our sessions are designed to gain maximum engagement in football through imaginative play and fun challenges. The activities allow each child to complete it at their level and often have one on one support throughout the activity to assist them in completing it.
We believe our ‘Football in Pre Schools’ programme has a positive influence on the Tamariki of Christchurch and improves their coordination, confidence, fitness, social and cognitive skills. We aim to reach as many early childhood centres in the Christchurch region to have a bigger impact.
Profile Training Groups development of a Motor programme:
Our engagement with the early childhood centres and observation of the children’s abilities has also led us to develop a more motor and cognition-based curriculum that is periodised into the football motor programme, which involves skills such as balancing, crawling, stepping, jumping, hopping, catching and memory. We believe this is incredibly valuable for the child’s development and core skills required later in life and in future sporting endeavours. The curriculum has been designed to fit into six, one hour sessions within the grounds of the preschools, providing over 20 different motor and cognitive-based activities for 2-5-year-olds.
This Motor programme was developed by Brenda Bergin, a former teacher aide, and trained Perceptual Motor Programme teacher (PMP). This curriculum was also developed in conjunction with Pippa Jerard, a qualified Occupational Therapist and Head Pre School Coach for Profile Training Group.
The Profile Training Group Preschools team currently deliver this programme to Monetessoris and Preschools around the Canterbury region.