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PULSE Infant Games Pilot

Kent Sport was delighted to get the opportunity to team up with the Canterbury Coastal Partnership to run an initial ‘Infant Games’ pilot during the Summer. The idea was born from conversations between myself (Tim Sells, Kent Sport), Fiona Ingram (Herne Infants) and Sally Luckhurst (former Canterbury Coastal partnership manager) about the often lack of opportunities for Infant aged children to take part in basic forms of specific sports. Most National Governing Bodies of Sport’s (NGBs) products are aimed at Key Stage 2 pupils and as such infant aged children often miss out sport specific competition. As a coach of an under 6/7s football team myself, I know that a lot of children at this tender age can play structured games (to a basic level) and truly feel

that starting them at an earlier age can possibly lead to a greater love of sport and physical activity as a whole.

Of course multi-skills are the ideal starting point for children this age, but coaching an under 6/7 football team myself, I know for a fact that many children of this age can play simplified versions of different sports and should be given the opportunity to try. Therefore, we decided to put a small festival together to see how the children reacted to this opportunity for friendly competition.

On what seemed to be the hottest day ever recorded, Infant schools from the partnership descended onto the lush playing fields at Herne Bay High School to compete in a number of

Athletic events. It was great to see the excitement etched onto so many small faces as they ventured over the field for their initial briefing and to feel the general buzz in the air.

The children competed in a variety of events ranging from relays, javelin, long jump and sprinting and the organisation of the Canterbury Coastal Partnership was first class in dealing with some many young people and making this truly a memorable experience.

An Infant Games are something that I am very passionate about and I hope to replicate the festivals throughout

the County in the near future. The survey results also prove that this is something a lot of schools want for their children and so I hope to make that happen…. So watch this space!!

Report by Tim Sells, Kent Sport

12 The Kent & Medway School Sports Magazine

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