Sporting Schools, the gift that keeps on giving

Here at Netball NSW, we understand life is busy for school teachers.  Which is why our Sports Development Team want to make Physical Education as easy as possible, whilst also getting kids out enjoying sport.

The Sporting Schools initiative was introduced by the Australian Sports Commission earlier in 2015, with the whole premise about engaging more children in sport-based activity within the school environment.

We’ve previously brought you the successful story of Geurie Public School; a small school based halfway between Dubbo and Wellington who has seen netball’s popularity soar since it engaged the Sporting School program – read the story here.

Recently, caught up with a school in the Sydney Metropolitan when we chatted with Renee Sherlock – a teacher at Strathfield North Primary School.

Strathfield North recently opted to choose netball as part of Sporting Schools, with Sherlock echoing Geurie Public School’s results in that their students really engaged in the program and continued to progress each week.

“The kids really loved it – there was always smiles and they were always really excited when it was that time of the week for netball. I think they really liked that there was so much variety and that it was different each week,” Sherlock said.

“It was also good that the students had some input on the program as well; they shared what activities they enjoyed, what skills they liked learning, and so the Development Officer was able to tailor their sessions to be as fun as possible.”

For Sherlock and teachers like her, the Sporting Schools netball program also provides an opportunity to learn new things – whether it be fun games, new ways to teach skills, or even just different warm-ups.

“I think for me I definitely picked up new warm-up activities – our Development Officer always integrated a skill in the warm-ups, which I thought was a great way of bringing learning those new skills into a fun atmosphere,” Sherlock admitted.

“I’m now able to use those different warm-ups for things such as Friday afternoon sport or different times, or even for those weeks where we didn’t have the Sporting Schools program at the school. The kids were familiar with them which also made it very simple.”

Whilst adding resources to her own teaching repertoire, Sherlock says for her it’s the delivery of the program which is the real benefit to her school life.

“I’m sure that I’m speaking on behalf of all the teachers out there, but as a teacher our lives are just so busy – so consumed with planning and executing and overseeing – that being a coach of a sports team at school can often be overwhelming. You love to do it, but with the job comes so much else on top of your workload,” Sherlock said.

“I found that by having a Development Officer deliver Sporting Schools netball program – they can put a lot more into the planning of the lessons, setting out equipment etc, that the kids really get so much more out of those sessions. Even though I would do my best to make it fun and engaging, there’s only so many hours in the day – the Sporting Schools netball program takes that pressure off the teachers.

“It also helps those teachers who haven’t ever been exposed to netball; it gives them a resource to engage in a sport they’ve never played before, and helps grow the variety of sports on offer to the students.

So would Strathfield North engage the Sporting Schools netball program again?

“100 percent! Absolutely we would have it back – not only was it a great program and well-organised, it also provided the school some extra equipment and resources that we could have as an addition to our sports shed which gives other teachers the opportunity to utilise them, which is great,” Sherlock concluded.

Sporting Schools ANZ NetSetGO netball program benefits:

  • Accredited coaches endorsed by Netball NSW delivering programs
  • Equipment kit can be purchased to assist the delivery of the programs
  • Free giveaway item for each participant
  • Fun for all participants, regardless of ability, and suitable for both girls and boys
  • Development of motor skills and confidence through fun and games
  • Flexible session time options
  • Social interactive learning
  • Link to the National Curriculum

Click Here for more information on Netball NSW’s Sporting Schools program (including detailed program benefits and prices) or contact Carolyn Waite on (02) 9951 5000 during business hours or email