Providing free after school activities for children and families in Morwell

Our Place Morwell worked with local organisation Reclink and Morwell Central Primary School to deliver a free after school sports program.

Identification and Collaboration

Due to several factors, including feedback from the community around affordability and availability of after school activities, a site-wide priority for Our Place Morwell is ensuring that children have access to after school programs. With this priority in mind, Our Place reached out and connected with Reclink Australia, a national non-profit organisation that provides evidence-based community sport, art and sports recreation programs, to explore possible opportunities.

During the meeting, both organisations identified that Reclink facilitating a free  six-week sports session that both children and families could attend and participate in would be valuable. From here, Our Place, Reclink and the primary school all worked together to make this happen. The school kindly allowed the program to operate within the school gym free of charge, Reclink organised the staffing for the program, and Our Place promoted the program to parents and carers and encouraged participation.

All organisations agreed that the program would run straight after school to ensure this program was easily accessible for all. This meant that parents, carers and children could go directly to the gym after school rather than going home and returning to school an additional time.

The program in action

Each week, children and families arrived eager to participate. Each session began with a series of warm-ups and an explanation of the planned activities for the session. During the six weeks, families participated in various sports and activities, including team relay games such as the ‘bean-bag’ toss, kicking soccer goals, and basketball knock-out. Line Tag was a popular and much-loved game that both parents and children enjoyed equally.

Deb, Our Place Morwell’s Community Facilitator, also attended each session and found this a great opportunity to see the program in action and meet with and get to know families. Families also met other families for the first time and enjoyed watching their children learn new skills and games. Parents and carers were encouraged to participate in the activities and were also able to learn more about other services and programs that are available on site and through Reclink.

Feedback about the program from children and families has been very positive. Many families expressed their gratitude and appreciation for having access to the program and mentioned that they are looking forward to attending more opportunities in future. Our Place Morwell has now sourced and planned for future after school activities to happen in Term 4.

Aligning with the Our Place Approach

This is one example of how Our Place playing the role of “The Glue” assists the community to access and participate in accessible activities. This is also an example of the Our Place evidence based element of Enrichment and Engagement Activities for Children in action which focuses on ensuring that affordable, on-site opportunities are available to enable children to develop an interest in sports, arts and hobbies with others.

To learn more about our other evidence based elements Click Here