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Hockey at forefront of physical literacy

October 24, 2019

An active and healthy lifestyle starts from an early age, which is why physical literacy is such an important part of any child’s education. It has long been recognised that sport and activity plays an important role in whole child development, bringing with it physical, psychological, social and cognitive health and wellbeing benefits.

With this in mind, the South Australian government has introduced the Physical Education/Physical Literacy (PEPL) programme which aims to put sport and movement at the heart of the curriculum. Hockey is one of the main sports to jump on board and lend its support. 

Hookin2Hockey is a programme developed by Hockey Australia and it will be delivered to a number of primary schools in South Australia next year, aligning beautifully with the South Australian Government’s PEPL programme.

For the participating schools, this is the first experience most children will have with hockey. Hookin2Hockey promises action-packed, games-focussed hour long sessions as part of a school’s sports/physical literacy offering. Not only will the children benefit from the physical aspects of playing hockey – cardiovascular fitness, balance, strength – they will also learn essential life-skills such as team-work and communication.

Hockey Australia General Manager – Strategy and Game Development, Michael Johnston said the contribution and involvement of hockey’s national body in the government programme underlined the sport’s values and desire to play a role in helping children have and enjoy an active healthy lifestyle.

“The HookIn2Hockey program perfectly encompasses the intention of the PEPL program and we are extremely proud and passionate to be playing a part in it,” said Johnston.

“Sport Australia’s summation of physical literacy being about developing knowledge and behaviours that give children the motivation and confidence to enjoy active lifestyles, which can be achieved through quality physical education, school and community sport programs, such as HookIn2Hockey or by joining local hockey clubs, are major reasons we are fully behind it.”

“Hockey is an inclusive and family orientated sport that is a lot of fun to play and these physical literacy trials have also proven to have positive impacts on the child’s learning.”

The PEPL programme was first devised because Sport Australia recognised that, despite its many benefits to an individual’s development, the importance of sport was declining within schools. To reverse this trend, something had to be done and, after extensive research, the concept of physical literacy was introduced.

Physical literacy involves holistic lifelong learning through movement and physical activity. It delivers physical, psychological, social and cognitive health and wellbeing benefits. Teaching skills to increase levels of physical literacy supports whole-of-child development and movement for life. A pilot scheme, promoting physical literacy was launched in Victoria in 2018.

Now significant investment has been released by Sport Australia to support the programme across the territory and Hockey Australia is one of the partners who will deliver a high quality sports and physical literacy programme to the youngsters. 

Hockey Australia CEO Matt Favier says: “Hockey Australia is at the forefront of one of the most significant projects getting sport back into the school environment, and improving the overall health and development of Australian children. It is for these reasons Hockey Australia is extremely supportive of the Physical Literacy Framework, and proud of its involvement in the PEPL project in South Australia.”

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