Giving children a sporting start

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SCHOOLCHILDREN can now enjoy sport in a whole new way thanks to one Wigan woman.

Joanne Hindley, 22 has launched an after-school activity which allows children, aged between three and seven to take part in physical activity while listening to specially designed children’s stories.

Storybook Sport allows children to carry out exercises to the story being told, making sport fun and enjoyable for everyone.

The project launched in Wigan last year and has just begun six-weeks of after-school clubs at Westleigh Methodist Primary School.

Joanne said: “The children are really enthusiastic and are really enjoying being engaged in both the stories and the physical activity, where their skills are improving weekly.

“I have seen the children develop in a positive manor which has developed their confidence and skills.

“The children’s balance and co-ordination has massively improved, which they will need to continue their future development.”

Joanne believes that Storybook Sport will be a better introduction to physical activity than some of the other sports options given to young pupils.

The sessions so far, have helped children develop their literacy, numeracy and communication skills.

There are more than 40 stories to choose from, allowing children to practice balancing skills, agility and hitting targets.

Joanne added: “In some schools you just get people playing football with children aged three or four, but this develops fundamental skills, such as running, jumping, throwing and catching. It’s about making children good general athletes, then introducing them to specific sports later.

“The feedback given by teachers is positive. It could also run during Breakfast Clubs or during PE lessons and can also be adapted for pre-schools.”

To find out more contact Joanne on 07754 848325 or visit