Sacred Heart Primary School students were full of excitement when ‘Up There Cazaly’ singer and song-writer Mike Brady attended their school to promote the Bluearth Active School program last week.
Singer-songwriter, advertiser, experienced director and community worker Mike, who also has a soft spot for Yarrawonga after his father-in-law owned a pub in the main street many years ago, was in town to promote the Bluearth initiative and its continued inclusion at Sacred Heart Primary.
Bluearth is a national health promotion charity with a mission to improve the health of Australians by recognising the need for generational change.
The organisation actively engages Aussie kids to develop physical literacy and to provide them with skills and motivation to lead active lives.
The program has been in place at Sacred Heart Primary for more than 10 years and has been found to have profound benefits for students.
Mike is a long-time board member of the program, occasionally working in the communications and marketing side of the program, but often uses his profile to get around to schools and meet students.
Since 2002, the Bluearth Foundation has worked with more than 350,000 students in almost 20 percent of all Australian primary schools.
“I’m proud to be part of the Bluearth Foundation; a health promotion charity that is literally moving lives,” Mike said.
“Children just weren’t playing as much as they used to so we’ve tried to bridge that gap.” “We would like to involve adults more too but it can be hard with finances sometimes, though we are starting a program for adults called ‘Move More Sit Less’.”
Mike has been involved with Bluearth for more than 15 years and said it holds a place in his heart. “This program is close to my heart especially when it may change children’s lives,” Mike said. “I thought it had a really broad benefit.
“Our Active Schools Program addresses the all-time low activity rate in children by developing lifelong healthy habits with students and teachers being active together and experiencing the simple joys that running, jumping, throwing and catching can bring.
“Movement and physical activity are vital to our physical and mental wellbeing. By instilling a love of physical activity in kids from a young age, Bluearth is playing its part in creating a more active nation.” Principal of Sacred Heart Primary School, Arn Gorman agreed whole heartedly with Mike saying the benefits of Bluearth for the school have been profound.
“We see the Bluearth Active school program as invaluable,” Ms Gorman said.
“It is a wholistic approach where both the physical, social and emotional wellness of our students is developed and nurtured.
“We’ve seen the benefits in students, they’re calm and they approach work in a calmer manner so it seems to really work for them.
Of the staff at Sacred Heart 80 percent are trained in the Bluearth program and the school takes the Bluearth philosophy into staff meetings to look at staff wellness and wellbeing.
“It seeks to not only build capacity in our students, but also our staff to ensure the program is not about 40 mins a week but a philosophy that becomes fully entrenched into the culture of our school,” Ms Gorman said.
This program has proved to be a fantastic initiative throughout Australia and in regional areas such as Yarrawonga.
Mike said it has been rewarding seeing children becoming more active again and it was great to see them outside playing.
“It’s just wonderful, the joy. A lot of kids hold back at first but they always get drawn in whether they have good or bad ability and no kid is sitting out. Everyone is successful,” Mike said.
“Children need to run around, let off steam and shout.
“This program seems to be getting kids out and about more and I’m very proud to be involved.”