Three new coaches have this week begun work in local primary schools, supporting children to develop movement skills such as running, hopping, jumping, throwing, balance and general agility.
The aim is to imbed an active lifestyle from an early age, giving young people the core competencies and building blocks to go on and take up sport outside of school.
The coaches will work in schools where a specific need for improvement in physical literacy has been identified.
In recent months, through a natural process, several of the island’s Sports Development Officer posts became vacant and this allowed Jersey Sport and the sports concerned to review and take a fresh look at the way their sport is developed.
This presented an exciting opportunity to extend the physical literacy programme to provide more intervention in the schools that required it the most, whilst continuing the good work of the Development Officers.
“Prior to renewing all Development Officer contracts we consulted with the relevant associations,” said Jersey Sport General Manager David Kennedy.
“In some cases they felt that, whilst the programme had been successful, the scope and responsibilities of the officers had been too broad. As a result a more targeted approach to developing their sport was required. This has meant that Jersey Sport has reallocated the funding into a schools physical literacy programme which aims to equip pupils with the fundamental skills which will help them take up and enjoy sport.
“The associations will continue to deliver other areas of their development programmes with their existing coaching workforce.”
Jersey Sport continues to invest in existing Development Officers, namely for cricket, football and netball whose associations match-fund the posts.
The organisation has also committed to expanding its after school and holiday activity sessions to ensure children are given the opportunity to try a range of sports before specialising in those they enjoy the most and to which they are best suited.
Jersey Sport is actively working with sports to establish their development plans and identify where resources are needed.