Mulwala Water Ski Club staff were used as ‘guinea pigs’ recently when Bluearth coaches descended en masse to hone their skills prior to implementing them in classrooms through the region.
Bluearth Regional Coordinator for North East Victoria and Southern NSW Matt Dillon said the national health promotion charity was undertaking a regional training session for coaches and using the Ski Club employees to assist them.
“This model has been essentially replicated Australia-wide,” Matt said.
“It is fantastic having the continued support of the Mulwala Water Ski Club, which has not only support this training activity but has committed to ongoing support for the Bluearth program to be run in the local schools.
“Without them, the running of this program would not be possible and I can’t thank them enough.”
Matt said along with staff from the Ski Club, Sacred Heart Primary Principal Arn Gorman and Mulwala Public School teacher Emma Quinn attended the training day.
“We run the program at both these schools,” he said.
“Yarrawonga College P-12 also had this program running for three years and all the teachers have now been trained in the Bluearth philosophy and this program is now at a sustainable level at the college which is a fantastic result.”
According to Matt Bluearth was on a mission to improve the health of all Australians and address the burden of disease that is associated with increasingly sedentary lifestyles.
“To achieve this we recognise the need for generational change which is why we actively engage Aussie kids to develop their physical literacy and provide them with the skills and motivation to lead active lives,” he said.
“Our work with schools, teachers, parents and carers highlights how they can encourage and nurture children to be active every day, enabling them to reach their full potential.
“Bluearth Foundation works with the World Health Organisation Health Promoting Schools framework to encourage and support physical activity in schools.
“We work with schools to develop a school that recognises and values the importance of physical activity among all those who work, study and use the school.
“In addition to working with school staff and students, we also work with schools to engage with parents and family members, given they play a pivotal role in shaping a child’s physical activity behaviour.”
Emma Quinn from Mulwala Public School said the Bluearth program was used across the whole school.
“This program fits in beautifully with the Mulwala Buddy values and has grown our students’ self awareness and self regulation skills.
“It is an hour all of our students without exception look forward to.”
Although Sacred Heart Primary Principal Arn Gorman is relatively new to the school she is an old hat when it comes to the Bluearth philosophy.
“Bluearth was an integral part of previous schools I was involved in and I have always found it to be a fantastic program,” she said.
“More than 70% of our staff are now trained in Bluearth procedures and the program is embedded in all our classrooms.
“The Bluearth program has given our students a resilience and self regulation skills and self awareness which is imperative in this fast-pace day and age – learning to slow yourself down and access what is happening is a fantastic skill to have, young or old.”
Yarrawonga’s Drew Barnes started working with Bluearth as a qualified coach earlier this year and said he couldn’t be more happy.
“I work with eleven different schools from Berrigan, Urana, Jerilderie and Euroa to Shepparton, Lavington and Cobram as well as Yarrawonga and Mulwala,” he said.
“All the coaches are just a fantastic bunch of people and are all inspiring.
“Bluearth to me is about full involvement, my main aim is to get kids moving and work closely with the teachers to ensure they have the skills to run those activities independently.”