Sandra Flaws and her son Carter enjoy some playtime Thursday

Childhood coalition developing sports skills in youngsters

Parents of young children will be excited to see the start of a sports literacy program in town.

Parents of young children will be excited to see the start of a sports literacy program in town.

Ponoka’s Early Childhood Development Coalition will be hosting several Sportball programs for children ages 16 months to five years, explained co-ordinator Robyn O’Connell. To get parents interested in the program, the coalition hosted an introductory class Thursday, Nov. 27 at the Ponoka Youth Centre gym.

The coalition has also received an $8,000 grant from the Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC) Learn to Play grant. O’Connell says the money will help pay for equipment and two free sessions of the overall program.

O’Connell says the program focuses on three different age groups: 16 to 24 months, two to three and a half years and three and a half to five years old. The first session starts March 3 and runs until April 28 and parents have already started to sign up their children.

Brandon Robb is the Sportball program director for central Alberta. He said he looked forward to working with younger kids to develop their love of sports. “It’s a non-competitive sports instructional program,” said Robb.

“The big key term is physical literacy,” he added.

Robb says he will be working with children to build their confidence and develop their self-esteem.

Also in attendance at the introductory class were representatives of RBC. Regional vice-president Ron Sauve said Ponoka was one of two central Alberta communities to receive the nationwide grant and he was pleased to see strong interest in the program.

“We like to support our youth,” said Sauve.

Ponoka RBC branch manager Lynette Holtz said her son started sports at a young age, which helped develop his skills.

“When you can get them started young, it just builds that foundation,” said Holtz.

The grant was celebrated nationwide with RBC’s Sport Day in Canada Saturday, Nov. 29. For more information on program dates and availability call O’Connell at 403-963-1562.


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