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Students at Craigflower Elementary School heard about “physical literacy” on Monday from an expert source — two-time Olympic swimmer Ryan Cochrane.
“It’s about playing with friends, it’s about finding what you like,” said the 25-year-old Victoria resident. “Maybe it’s not swimming. Maybe it’s running. Maybe it’s trying a new thing you never tried before.”
Cochrane’s visit marked a funding announcement that ensures a successful physical-literacy program at the school will continue for at least another 2 1/2 years, courtesy of $100,000 in donations — $50,000 each from the Rotary Club of Victoria and the Victoria Foundation. The program has been a major success in its first several months, said Craigflower principal Lynne Moorehouse.
Craigflower can’t afford a physical-education specialist on staff, so the program fills an important role, Moorehouse said. The program, which focuses on such things as agility, co-ordination and balance, is being delivered by the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, or PISE, for the school’s 136 students in kindergarten to Grade 5.
Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson said physical literacy helps with all aspects of life.
“Beyond the obvious physical skills gained, it lays the groundwork for young children to build confidence in their physical abilities and support lifelong health and well-being.”