UWTSD working with Carmarthen Town Football Club to deliver activities for young children and their families


19.03.2018

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David has been working in partnership with Carmarthen Town Football Club to deliver an innovative community engagement project, encouraging families to get more active and developing local children’s movement skills.

SKIP project with Carmarthen Town

Having been approached by Jeff Thomas, Director of Carmarthen Town Football Club, Dr Nalda Wainwright, Director of the University’s Wales Institute for Physical Literacy has been working with the club to facilitate a SKIP Cymru project that will benefit the wellbeing of the young children as well as their families.

The project first started in January of this year and is a way of trying to engage with local families and to make sure that the children have the physical skills to be able to access sport.

Working in partnership with the two schools closest to the football club – Richmond Park Primary School and Myrddin School – the SKIP Cymru project has included the training and mentoring of teachers and parents allowing them to develop children’s movement skills and to encourage participation in physical activity.

“SKIP – which stands for Successful Kinesthetic Instruction for Pre-schoolers - trains teachers, teaching assistants and parents about the importance of early movement for child development,” says Dr Nalda Wainwright. “The training shows how children learn to move through developmental stages; how to alter tasks and the environment to move children through these stages, and crucially, to achieve the mastery of these skills needed for life long physical activity. 

“SKIP Cymru also involves running family engagement sessions with parents taking a bag of equipment home to play with their children and in some cases, even taking over the running of sessions.

“With this particular project, we’ve worked with teachers and parents from Richmond Park and Myrddin schools, giving them the appropriate training to be able to develop children’s skills. 

“Carmarthen Town Football Club has also generously paid for the Equipment Bags for the school and the Parent Bags for the families, enabling families to play and learn whilst also developing basic physical skills.  As well as working with the schools, colleagues from the county’s Actif Sport and Leisure team have also been working with local families directly from the club’s community centre and have been showing parents how to play with their children to make sure that their movement skills are being developed from a very early age. 

“This is a great example of the sporting community in Carmarthen coming together to ensure that our children have the right skills needed to allow them to access sport in the future,” adds Dr Wainwright.

SKIP Cymru Active Families

The project came about as Carmarthen Town Football Club was very keen to engage with more people within the town and wanted to foster greater links with families and communities within its local area.  It was also an opportunity for the club to help with children’s physical development, ensuring that they have the basic movement skills needed to play sport.

“Carmarthen Town Football Club prides itself on being a community orientated organisation. Indeed our motto is ‘More than just a football Club’” says Jeff Thomas, who initiated the project with the University.

“Some areas of the town are not represented within our Youth Academy and we were told that it would be beneficial to improve the coordination skills of the children to enable them to participate – and this is how the relationship with the University began.

“The Club sincerely thanks UWTSD for its interest and support and it’s been a pleasure to donate the equipment required for the project.  Indeed, this is another example of the club working with the University and we’re delighted that UWTSD is such a strong supporter of the club’s activities,” adds Jeff. 

The project is ongoing and will evolve and develop as more teachers and mentors trained in SKIP Cymru.

Daniel White, who’s currently studying for a Masters degree in Physical Education at UWTSD is also tracking the children’s development which will give the University and the football club a clear indication of how the children’s skills are improving.

“The main aim of this project is to get children moving at a young age,” continues Dr Wainwright.  “This is vital for both their long term health as well as for the health of the community and is something that Carmarthen Town Football Club strongly believes in.”

If your family would like to take part in the Active Families sessions, please contact the Actif Sport and Leisure team by emailing aypwest@carmarthnshire.gov.uk

Note to Editor

 

  1. The Wales Institute of Physical Literacy at UWTSD has a range of projects such as SKIP Cymru that will help Wales become a more physical literate nation. SKIP is aimed at early years and young children but Physical Literacy is developed throughout life. It is much more than learning skills and playing sport.  It’s about being confident; motivated; and about understanding why activity is important and how to be active - whether that’s playing sport in a club, walking in the hills, doing yoga, cycling, swimming or taking a dance class.
  2. The Wales Institute for Physical Literacy has a team of highly experienced bi-lingual full time staff with expertise in the fields of physical education, outdoor education, sport development, health and exercise, physiology, nutrition, sports therapy, early years motor development, inclusion and special educational needs and exercise psychology. The institute works in collaboration with a team of academics and researchers of international renown.

Further Information

 

For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Principal Communications and PR Officer on 01267 676908 / 07449 998476 / sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk