On 31 October, students who are studying the Diploma of Sport Development at Holmesglen were given the chance to travel to Lake Eildon on a four-day trip, and run sports coaching sessions in primary schools in the local area. The aim of the Coaching for Change project is to run sporting programs and provide opportunities to kids in country schools that they might not have otherwise received. Throughout the year, we had learned about coaching and all had at least 50 hours' experience working in a primary school. On this trip, we were given the opportunity to apply what we had learned previously at these primary schools. This involved writing up session plans, and learning how to coach independently; without a senior teacher leading the sessions. It was down to us to instruct the drills, in pairs of two or three.
Tuesday is where the real action began. We got up in the early hours of the morning and made our way to Alexandra Primary School, where, in pairs, we ran short coaching sessions for all of the students in grades prep through six. Some examples of the sessions included basketball shooting, rob the nest, an obstacle course, and netball passing. All the kids had a great time and it seemed like they really took a lot out of it. After the primary school visit, we split into our activities, bike riding and a low ropes course. The low ropes activity required us to put our thinking caps on, as it involved real teamwork and problem-solving abilities from the group.
On Wednesday, before embarking on the next primary school visit, we swapped between the activities. I, for one, really enjoyed the bike ride. We travelled up a mountain to the Eildon Dam and enjoyed some scenic views, before enjoying a smooth descent down after a tough stretch on the way up. Afterwards, we embarked to Buxton Primary School, a school with only twelve students. This day presented us with the chance to give a school a rare opportunity to receive coaching sessions, as this school was small in comparison to others. We provided students with a wide range of sports to enjoy, such as footy, rob the nest, soccer, and even juggling. The kids loved the the chance to participate, they listened intently as all sessions were run well by all coaches. We even managed to participate in various games. At the end, we donated sports equipment to the school, including AFL and rugby balls.
Day four saw us attend St Mary's Primary School in Alexandra. We arrived at 8.30am, greeted by the school's principal, Adrian Cheer. Adrian was extremely friendly and glad for our assistance with the athletics program during the day. He made us feel very welcome. It was decided that we would run five activities and rotate students every six to eight minutes. We set-up discus, shot put, long jump, relay change-overs, and high jump areas. We were responsible for explaining, demonstrating and coaching St Mary's students on his or her technique and performance. This was repeated with grade 3, 4 and 5 students. Overall, the warm ups, activities and the day went to plan. Andrew, the PE teacher, was very satisfied with how it all turned out. The St Mary's students were a great group to meet and work with on the day. Many even learnt how to do relay change-overs for the first time.
As we commenced our final day of the Eildon trip, we finished the trip on a high note, visiting Eildon Primary School. After the warm up, in the hall, the students broke up into groups to participate in the various sport activities, such as golden child and tunnel ball.
Coaching for Change was a great bonding experience for all of the students involved and this trip was a fantastic success. We thank Holmesglen from the bottom of our hearts for the wonderful opportunity we had to grow and learn.
Diploma of Sport Development 2017