Wainuiomata sports cluster continues to expand opportunities for students

16 October 2019

Following on from the successful Wainuiomata Primary School Dance Festival in Term 2, the Wainuiomata (WOA) Primary Schools Sport Cluster has facilitated two other new events.  The events were led by the cluster chair Matt Pegg and his belief that all children deserve the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities to enable them to “find their passion.”

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The cluster added gymnastics and the inaugural tennis festival to the Wainuiomata Primary Schools Sport Cluster Calendar in term 3. This resulted in over 350 experiences enjoyed by students from the six Wainuiomata primary schools.

On the 22nd August and in partnership with Hutt Valley Gymnastics Club, over 100 students per grouping, juniors (Yr 1-3) and seniors (Yr 4-6) rotated around three gymnastic apparatus: vault, floor and beam. Each student learned sequences of movements and shapes in preparation for performing to other schools.  Melanie Sales from Hutt Valley Gymnastics was instrumental in helping bring the event over The Hill to make it easier for local schools to attend.

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‘’Gymsports gives the students an opportunity to try a different type of sport for fun”, she said. “We’re looking at confidence, remembering the sequences and doing the best they can’’. 

Student feedback after the event was very strong in saying they want to do this again next year because it was fun to learn new things and then perform in front of other people.

The goal of 250 students from the local schools attending the skills- based tennis event which emphasised having fun within a tennis context was easily achieved at the inaugural Wainuiomata Tennis Festival on Tuesday 3rd September.

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Building on the previously successful programmes offered by Wainuiomata Tennis Club, Marc Paulik, from the Hutt Valley Tennis Academy and the WOA cluster, agreed there was still an opportunity to create a tennis event which engaged students  regardless of prior experience and to physically get them to their local tennis club. 

Each school had a one-hour session where their students rotated around each of the five courts that were divided into mini tennis stations where volunteers ran small skill- based games. Each station was designed to emphasize fun. The students were fully active and never standing around for more than 15 seconds. The event was such a success that discussions are already in place for a 2020 event.

Events such as these cannot happen without the help and support of other organisations and special thanks needs to go to Hutt Valley Gymnastics for their willingness to add another event to their calendar and Clive’s Chemist in Wainuiomata who sponsored the day by providing transport costs to allow Hutt Valley Gymnastics to head over the hill.

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The tennis event would not have been possible without Hutt Valley and Wainuiomata Tennis Clubs’ many volunteers and openness to try something different. Transport can often be a barrier and thanks go to Hutt City Council for providing the transport costs to bus the participating five schools to the tennis club and back.

With the success of these events, “I hope that the cluster can continue to be innovative in order to give students positive experiences within a wide range of physical activities,” said Matt.

Read about the Wainuiomata Dance Festival

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