After-school program focuses on more than just sports

First published on 4th September, 2017 by Patrick Harris

For parents, the KidzWish sports academy program is more than just an after-school program for their children. We spoke to three mums whose kids attend the weekly sessions to hear their thoughts on what it has to offer.

For Karen, she has seen the positive impact that the program has had on her daughter Amity. Before attending the program at the start of the year, Amity who has moderate cognitive delay had been cautious about participating in activities. Since then Amity has grown in confidence with the support of volunteers.

“Because she’s here and having a go and getting a lot of support from all the helpers and volunteers who are really encouraging, she’s really keen just to have a go now,” she said.

“They (the volunteers) are awesome. They always look out for her, especially because of her cognitive delay so she doesn’t realise when the ball is about to hit her, and they are always guarding her. I think that’s made a difference.”

For Jade, she has noticed the difference in her son Ryan and his participation in both the KidzWish sports academy and regular sporting activities outside of the program. Ryan who has Pervaysive Develpomental Disorder (PDD) has been attending the academy for two years.

“He fits into activities outside of the KidzWish program really well now. He behaves appropriately,” she said.

“He has improved his interaction with other kids and his sportsmanship. He congratulates other people. He’s a really good sports now.”

Mananui's mother Marie noticed this same development with her son. Mananui had always been shy which impacted on his ability to participate in mainstream activities. But since attending the program, he is now more comfortable participating.

“The first couple of weeks Mananui just sort of sat there, and now he goes in and out when he feels like it and is comfortable,” she said.

“For us as a family this is a great inclusive environment, our kids can be who they want to be without any negative connotations, so that’s why we love coming.”

The KidzWish sports academy program provides support to children to help develop their physical and social development. It is a fun environment for all to participate in. Discover more here: 

— Patrick Harris

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