Athletics are a big part of New Zealand’s sports scene, and in many other countries, it is more commonly known as track and field. There are many ways to get children enthusiastic about athletics and to help them get involved at a young age. There are almost 200 athletics clubs across the country that allow you the opportunity to get your children involved in athletics as young as three years old. The programme has many benefits for kids ages 3-10, and is affordable, and accessible, to children across the country.
The sport of athletics can help kids work on focus, basic skills and a sense of team and community. Athletics is also a great way to teach basic skills, and coordination, such as running, jumping and other fundamental abilities, that are transferable to other sports as well.
The Get Set Go programme helps children develop agility and balance, as well as coordination, that will then help them focus on more specific skills. Using games such as tag, and other balance games, kids are able to enact purposeful play, that helps them develop the critical skills needed to succeed in athletics.
Run Jump Throw is the next step after Get Set Go, that helps children focus more on the actual elements of athletics, as the foundation was laid during Get Set Go. The basic movements are taught, but the balance between skills and fun is maintained, to ensure that kids stay with the programme and enjoy it.
The programmes are also inclusive, ensuring that children of all ability levels, including those who may be less able, can access and reap the benefits of the programmes. The classes are typically held on weeknights, once a week, for around 90 minutes. This helps instil the rigour, and routine, required to succeed in any sport, especially athletics.