Ready Steady Go! The preschool sports program that the kids love
We chat to Luke Boncompagni, coach at Ready Steady Go Kids, to find out why this preschool sports program is such a big hit with educators, parents… AND kids!
What is the Ready Steady Go Kids program?
We’re a multi-sports program for kids aged from one-and-a-half up to six years old, split into age groups. It’s quite a broad range, so our one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half program is different from our four to six year olds.
It’s held during the day at community indoor sports centres, and we also now take the program into preschools and early learning centres.
Why now offer the program in early learning centres?
Because there are so many dual income families nowadays, it means an increased number of kids in daycare, so they might not be able to access an external sports program during the week. Also, we fit inside the centre’s early learning framework for kindy program, which means an ELC can use their kindy funding for us to come in and hold weekly sports sessions. So it’s a win-win for families and the centres!
What’s your favourite thing about running the program?
To be honest, I think it is the interactions with the kids. We build a rapport so that I’ll turn up at the ELC and they’ll tell me how they went to the zoo or they’ve learned a new song, or they had a sleep over. And of course, I love the coaching and development side too! Seeing how much they develop from the sessions is so inspiring.
Why do you think it is so important for little ones to get involved in sports from an early age?
Swimming lessons in Australia are such a rite of passage—every child does them. But I think that sport should be as well, especially from a young age, because there are so many developmental benefits.
The Ready Steady Go Kids program was created by a paediatric physiotherapist, designed specifically to get the kids developing gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Something as simple as swinging a golf club from right to left or left to right, (called crossing the midline) can actually help children learn how to read, because of that movement of going left to right, right to left. It’s actually starting to put it into their muscle memory.
Sport participation also helps immensely with school readiness. It teaches kids to take instruction, as well as being part of a team, socialising, working together, and sharing the equipment. We always try and play team games as much as possible, like doing relays when we do athletics, or we play a game of soccer where it’s all of the kids versus the coach. And, most importantly, these sessions definitely build a lifelong love of sport and physical activity, which will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
What do you think the kids love the most?
It really depends on the child. Some of them love the fact that they can just chat to you throughout the whole class and they love that social interaction. And that’s great because that’s a benefit of the program as well. Some of them just want to put a ball on a tee and hit it as hard as they can. And that’s okay too. Some of them want to get on the gross motor circuit and run laps. That’s great to get them moving. I think it’s all about finding that motivation that works for each kid and growing from there.
They all enjoy different aspects and they all get different little things out of it, which makes the multi-sport approach such an important one. I’ve had several parents tell me they actually can’t get their kids to childcare unless they tell them they’re going to see coach Luke. It means you’re doing the right thing, but it also means the program’s doing the right thing.
Written by Angela Sutherland
After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music.