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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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Kids Leading Kids

Debbie Garea
GO4it Fundamentals Advisor
Sport Bay of Plenty

The sounds of laughter and encouragement can be heard reverberating over the playing fields of 75 Bay of Plenty primary schools at lunchtimes as the Dynamo Leaders facilitate games for their peers.

Over 1500 Dynamo Leaders have been trained by Sport Bay of Plenty Staff using the Sport New Zealand Growing Leaders Programme this year. The aim is to grow leadership potential in primary school students as there is huge demand for young people to accept leadership roles and take on an act of service for their school. This programme provides young leaders with knowledge, understanding and personal skills to develop their leadership.  

Students from each school apply to be a Dynamo Leader and then receive training from Sport Bay of Plenty Facilitators Amy Evans, Megan Anderson and I. Each school has a teacher assigned to work with this group throughout the year completing leadership activities from their Leader Journal.   I believe the success of the programme hinges on the teachers who work with these young leaders. Each year staff put a lot of time into their Dynamos as they teach them new games, work from the leader journal, facilitate workshops and set up rosters.

Oropi Primary School have been part of ‘Lead it Dynamos’ for 3 years. They currently have 31 Dynamo Leaders who run alternate days, 2-3 times a week facilitating sports for the junior and senior school. Teacher, Adam Turner at Oropi School says, “It’s a great launching pad for our senior students. It has given them a tool box of ideas and strategies which they can now use in their leadership roles”.  

The 14 Maungatapu Primary School Dynamo Leaders are an enthusiastic bunch and have been busy running ‘Lunchtime Funtime’ for the juniors, being great sports helpers, teaching students new games and being positive role models in their school. Teacher Celeste Moffatt works closely with them and continues to upskill them during the year in the area of leadership.

Te Puna Primary School Teacher Louise Phipps is a big fan of the programme and her feedback really sums up how beneficial the programme can be, “The training sessions are great and certainly get the ball rolling for the year. The Leaders feel special having time away from the classroom to work alongside a Sport Bay of Plenty facilitator. Dynamos is a great programme and certainly helps boost the children's confidence at communicating with others. As they run games for younger children they are learning to organise games and equipment, work together as a team, give clear instructions and ensure the children are listening to them. It takes a while for the children to master these skills but over the course of a year I can certainly see an improvement in the way their leadership skills have developed”.

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Early morning lift-off for Humpty Dumpty at Memorial Park. Photo: Lynly Whitaker.

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