Netball resource gives schools shot in the arm

As the teacher in charge of recreational netball at CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace, Renuka Thiyagarajan conducts her pupils' Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) training herself with the team not having a coach.

But she will no longer have to rely solely on her wits to train her pupils - who are not on the school team - thanks to the Primary School Netball CCA Resource. The project by Netball Singapore and the Ministry of Education (MOE) was launched yesterday.

Teachers and coaches will be able to attend training workshops on the use of the resource, which includes guidelines and activities to develop technical and tactical netball skills for pupils.

Thiyagarajan welcomed the introduction of the resource, noting how it can help her become a better trainer.

"Usually we would do warm-ups, passes and then they take turns to play the game, because there is a big group," she said. "Having gone through the workshop, I know how to better manage the girls. I can split them into two teams. While I am coaching one team, the other team can practise their footwork."

MOTIVATION IS THE KEY

The girls will gain confidence, as they will think that they are also learning the skills that the school team are learning. It will give them more motivation to learn.

RENUKA THIYAGARAJAN, teacher in charge of recreational netball at CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace, on the foundations that can be nurtured using the Primary School Netball CCA Resource.

She also believes having a proper foundation in netball will benefit her pupils.

"The girls will gain confidence, as they will think that they are also learning the skills that the school team are learning. It will give them more motivation to learn," she said.

Netball Singapore is the first national sports association (NSA) to collaborate with the ministry on such a project.

Australian high performance coach Julie Hoornweg was key to the development of the resource, which took three years to complete. The former national coach of England and Fiji also conducts the training workshops.

"It's about teaching fundamental skills. We want them to have fun, and hopefully they will become passionate and skilled and keep playing," she said.

It is hoped that more pupils will be exposed to netball through proper training and coaching methods.

A hundred schools are expected to take up the resource by 2017 and 29 teachers from 14 schools have already gone through the workshop.

There are hopes that such resources can be introduced to more sports.

Said Liew Wei Li, divisional director of MOE's Student Development Curriculum Division: "We hope that the other NSAs will also do the same. When they are ready and available to do it, we would be very happy to work with them."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2016, with the headline 'Netball resource gives schools shot in the arm'. Print Edition | Subscribe