For the drive to achieve gender equality in sports to succeed most of the efforts need to focus on schools especially, primary schools. Joseph Scicluna, IGETS project coordinator for the Ghajnsielem Redcoats was invited by the College of Heads of the Gozo College during a Best Practices seminar held on Wednesday, May 24, at the offices of the Education Department in Victoria, Gozo, to make a presentation about the sports project which his club is conducting at the Ghajnsielem Primary School.

Mr Scicluna described the efforts of the Redcoats to improve the physical literacy of the students at the school through weekly sports sessions. Physical literacy is defined as the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life. By introducing team sports such as softball, basketball, volleyball and rugby, the project aims to foster a love for sports among the young students who attend the school from Kinder 1 (3 years old) to Year 6 (11 years old). The next challenge for the school programme of the Redcoats is to introduce intra-school competitions, or sports festivals, for girls so that they too would be able to play a team sport. Softball and basketball are two sports which can be introduced by the next scholastic year.

During the presentation Mr Scicluna also stated that following a physical literacy assessment of the students at Year 4 at the school, indication is that the programme is achieving its aims as the students did particularly well. Another confirmation of the success of the programme is the performance of the students when the coaches from Princ Zagreb and Olympia Haarlem conducted a practice session at the school in March. The coaches remarked not just about the eagerness the students had to learn but also of the level of competence with regards to the fundamental softball skills of throwing, catching, and hitting. He indicated his wish that other schools would follow the example of the Ghajnsielem Primary to encourage students, especially girls, to play a team sport.

The Heads of School were very interested in the project and many expressed their wish to participate in any softball activities which the Education Department and the Ghajnsielem Redcoats plan to introduce in the future.

Disclaimer: This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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