Getting Out and Active in Pembrokeshire
The Elective Home Education (EHE) Project is a partnership between Sport Pembrokeshire and GOGA Pembrokeshire. There are currently 197 registered EHE children in Pembrokeshire, however we know that many more than this are ‘off the radar’. During consultation with a number of the families, they highlighted the need to support with Physical Education. The physical activity intervention to follow engaged with 42 children, a significant number (over 20%) were on the ASD spectrum, a further 20% have additional learning needs.
The intervention provided regular physical activity sessions including delivery of football, swimming and surfing to many socially and geographically isolated children. Parents have commented positively on the impact of their children’s involvement which included increased motivation to engage at home, particularly amongst the KS3 cohort rising significantly after the engagement in the physical activity sessions. Many parents also recognised the benefits of improved co-ordination, balance and the impact on wider learning.
At Haverford West Leisure centre, through a GOGA swimming session parents were invited to join in the water and help assist and encourage their children to build water confidence during the lessons. The swimming pool floor was raised to create a safer and more confidence giving environment to participants. The short 30-minute water sessions were concise and provided opportunities for a range of swimming abilities including non-swimmers who started sat on poolside with their legs in the water. “Did you see me, I just jumped into this deep water, and I can float! Now, watch me swim!” Children continued, “I love doing this with my family and making new friends here”.
Parents who joined the sessions enjoyed being involved alongside their children and other families. From this confidence levels rose, the families starting to access the pool independently and it was time to boost water confidence within a beach environment. After a 6 week block of surf sessions with a surf school at the local beaches, adults and youngsters were sharing smile after smile. Their safety and surf knowledge grew week to week and it was fantastic to hear what they had learnt about a new sport as well as their surroundings. The programme has secured links with community clubs and organisations, which many of the young people now have the confidence to join- Thank you GOGA!