Children at Bluff Point Primary School (BPPS) have been enthusiastic participants in an after-school Cricket Skills and School Attendance Program.
Sponsored by the Geraldton Sporting Aboriginal Corporation (GSAC) and Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA), the nine week program ran every Wednesday afternoon throughout Term Two.
GSAC provided three trained staff, the cricket equipment and healthy food for the sessions, and the WACA paid for a coordinator to supervise the students at each of the sessions.
The idea for the program was developed in conjunction with Research Assistant Lenny Papertalk from the WA Centre for Rural Health, in consultation with the Bluff Point Primary School (BPPS) Aboriginal Parent group.
‘Parents and teachers of BPPS were looking for something to engage the children and improve attendance levels at school.’
‘An after school sporting program seemed like a solution to keep the kids engaged and active,’ Ms Papertalk said.
Principal of BPPS Celine Bellve said the program was a great success with a huge turnout of children attending each week.
‘It’s been great to see such a mix of ages come along and to watch the older children being role models to the younger ones.’
‘Best of all, this program has encouraged our children to play a sport and have a go,’ Ms Bellve said.
With renewed funding, BPPS and GSAC would like to see the program continue at the school, possibly with a different sport.
GSAC Project Officer Adrian Bartlett can see the potential for programs like these to grow and be run in schools across Geraldton.
‘There is no doubt in my mind that sporting programs increase children’s health, behaviour and willingness to attend school.
‘Children learn the importance of sportsmanship, team spirit and respect for each other by creating a fun, positive, healthy environment for children to look forward to,’ Mr Bartlett said.