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Getting kids into sport

Lifestyle — Posted 29/03/13

Local junior sporting clubs offer a great way for kids to get active, learn new skills and develop a lifelong love for sport.

There are some fantastic sporting bodies around Australia facilitating programs for boys and girls of all ages. Generally low cost and introducing children to the world of team sports, athleticism and casual competition, they’re a fun activity to participate in and can encourage good fitness habits early on.

Here are just a few great programs to check out.

1. Auskick

AFL Auskick offers primary school students aged 5 to 12 an active and social introduction to the Australian football experience, fostering an early love for the sport and creating memories that last a lifetime.

At Auskick, kids learn the fundamentals of the game, develop sporting skills and fitness, and gain an appreciation for teamwork, fair play and dedication – all in a safe and enjoyable local environment.

From warm up games and activities, to skills sessions like kicking, marking, handballing and bouncing, to playing a modified game, to the presentation of encouragement awards, each Auskick session gets the little ones building their confidence, being active, and most of all, having fun.

2. Little Athletics

After witnessing the disappointment in three young boys when he turned them away from competing in an athletics competition in 1963, Trevor Billingham knew there would be interest in a junior athletics program.

On the first Saturday in October the following year, Billingham met a small group of children on a Geelong oval and held a short program of running events. The interest quickly grew and in 1967 the Victorian Little Athletics Association was formed.

Children from 5 to 16 years can participate in Little Athletics and are offered a wide range of events from running, jumping, walking and throwing that are modified to suit their age and ability.

Australia-wide, more than 95,000 girls and boys participate in Little Athletics and the program’s emphasis on fun, participation, performance, technique and family involvement ensures its continued success and popularity with children and families.

3. NetSetGO!

NetSetGO! is Netball Australia’s junior netball program offering children from 5 to 10 years a positive introduction to netball. During the weekly program, young netballers develop skills and participate in minor games and modified matches in a fun and supportive environment.

The program is run by accredited coaches at NetSetGO! centres around Australia and along with the skills of the game, children build their physical fitness, sportsmanship and social skills.

Whether participation puts kids on the path to playing netball for Australia or developing an appreciation for the game, it’s an enthusiastic environment and introduces parents to the social communities of junior sports clubs.

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