BVIOC donates equipment to schools for Physical Literacy pilot programme

The BVI Olympic Committee donated equipment to the 12 pre- and primary schools piloting the physical literacy project.

The equipment will provide support in building the physical literacy capacity of students in schools participating in the project.

As part of the assessments that were carried out last month by the team of physical literacy specialists visiting from Canada Sports for Life, one of the recommendations in the report was the need for equipment to introduce various activities to the children that will assist in building mastery, confidence and motivation to move in different ways.

President of the BVI Olympic Committee, Mr. Ephraim Penn said “This initiative is being sponsored by the Olympic Solidarity and therefore we want to ensure that this programme is a success. In order to do so we have to continue to invest in the physical development of the Territory’s children.”

Physical Education teachers, coaches and persons involved in sports along with parents are encouraged to support the initiative by learning about physical literacy and following the physical literacy campaign on BVIOC’s website – bviolympics.org – and page on Facebook.

“There is great information and tips that everyone can use to introduce physical literacy concepts to children in their care. I encourage parents, teachers, care givers and volunteers to support the concept of physical literacy and to lead by example by being active and encouraging your child or children to be active as well,” Mr. Penn said.

The equipment was handed over to the Ministry of Education and Culture and received by Permanent Secretary Mrs. Carolyn Stoutt-Igwe and Chief Education Officer Ms. Connie George on November 8 during a short ceremony.

“We recognize the importance of physical literacy in our community and the long term benefits of ingraining physical activity from an early age so that it becomes a lifetime habit,” said Ms. George. “Having the Physical Literacy project run in our schools is paramount and the Ministry of Education is very appreciative that the BVI Olympic Committee is ensuring its success through their ongoing support and donations with funding from Olympic Solidarity.”

The equipment, which includes a variety of training tools tailored for the needs of each recipient, will be distributed to the participating schools in the coming days.

Participating schools include Althea Scatliffe, Francis Lettsome, Leonora Delville and Jost Van Dyke Primary Schools, Bregado Flax Education Centre-Primary Division, Agape Total Life Academy and Pelican Gate School as well as New Life, Little Light House, New Testament, Visions and Jost Van Dyke preschools.

The mission to promote physical literacy locally is a multi-agency collaboration between the BVI Olympic Committee, Canada Sports for Life and the Ministries of Health and Social Development and Education and Culture.

Physical Literacy is the competence, confidence and motivation to enjoy a variety of sports and physical activities.

Physical Literacy assessments underway in 12 schools in the BVI

As efforts continue to promote physical activity in the British Virgin Islands, physical literacy assessments will be carried out in 12 schools from September 30th until October 10th.

The assessments are part of the physical literacy mission run through a multi-agency collaboration between the Ministries of Health and Social Development and Education and Culture as well as the BVI Olympic Committee and Canada Sport for Life.

A team of physical literacy specialists from Canada Sport for Life is in the Territory currently working with selected schools to encourage movement across the curriculum.

Education Officer, Mrs. Heida Joyles-Selwood said “The team will be introducing the PLAY Builder programme to physical education teachers and working with classroom teachers and early childhood practitioners to encourage physical activity.”

According to Mrs. Joyles-Selwood, physical literacy has been incorporated into the overall Healthy Schools initiative launched by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Caribbean Public Health Agency to improve the diet and physical activity patterns among school children by instilling knowledge, skills and providing motivation for adopting healthy lifestyle behaviors.

While all primary schools are participating in the Healthy School Project, only a total of 12 schools – which include public, private and preschools – were selected to participate in phase I of this project.

Participating schools are Althea Scatliffe, Francis Lettsome, Leonora Delville and Jost Van Dyke Primary Schools, Bregado Flax Education Centre-Primary Division, Agape Total Life Academy and Pelican Gate School as well as New Life, Little Light House, New Testament, Visions and Jost Van Dyke preschools.

Initially introduced and funded by the BVIOC, the Physical Literacy campaign is part of the Long Term Athlete Development programme which was launched in the Territory in February 2016 by the steering committee chaired by Mr. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC targetting national federations, schools and the community.

The community is encouraged to support this initiative by increasing their child’s physical activity on a daily basis.

“Physical literacy is the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.” – The International Physical Literacy Association, May 2014

It increases physical fitness and health and promotes healthy lifestyle habits, social skills, physiological wellness, cognitive skills and educational success.

VI Health Ministry signs agreement to develop physical literacy in pre-schools

Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Calvin Malone has signed an agreement with Sport for Life Society for the development of a physical literacy approach in pre-schools across the Territory.

The programme will be coordinated by the Ministry of Health and the BVI Olympic Committee and will enable the Sport For Life programme to build capacity in key personnel including early child care providers and teachers as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of the project in increasing physical activity in children and youth.

Coordinator of Health Promotion Services in the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Ms. Ivy George said the programme will also increase awareness of physical literacy in the Territory while improving physical activity.

The intervention will be held in four phases in identified schools in the Territory. Education, training and assessments will be carried out by the organisation in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Agriculture and Fisheries.

The programme began in August and will conclude in July 2020. Sport for Life is a non-profit organisation out of Canada whose purpose is to create cross-sectional partnerships between sport, education, recreation and health while aligning community, physical activity programming and more.

Persons seeking more information on the organisation and the intervention programme can telephone the Ministry of Health and Social Development at 468-2274.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development aspires to provide a caring and integrated system of health and social services that facilitates the recovery of human development and quality of life in the British Virgin Islands.

Gov’t ministries collaborate with BVIOC to introduce Physical Literacy in schools

The Ministries of Education and Culture and Health and Social Development and the BVI Olympic Committee have joined forces to increase physical activity in the daycare/preschoolers and primary school students through physical literacy in the Territory.

Last week during their annual professional development initiative the Ministry of Education and Culture with support from Sport for Life Canada trained pre and primary school teachers in physical literacy.

During a Lyte Vibrations interview Education Officer, Ms. Hieda Selwood and Physical Literacy Specialist Ms. Jessica Waterman explained what physical literacy is, why it is important and why teachers and parents should promote it.

Physical Literacy is the competence, confidence and motivation to enjoy a variety of sports and physical activities.

“We are trying to promote movement across the curriculum. It is our hope that if we foster physical literacy in the lives of our children they will grow up to be healthy adults thus promoting a healthier Virgin Islands,” Ms. Selwood explained.

As part of the workshop classroom and physical education teachers were introduced to physical literacy concepts, resources and information.

According to Ms. Waterman the training which featured theory and practical sessions focused on five key concepts. “We want teachers to promote physical literacy in programs and activities that are fun, challenging, inclusive, participant centered and by making sure that the children are always moving with purpose,” she said.

Parents and guardians are also encouraged to increase their children’s physical activity on a daily basis and support efforts to promote physical literacy in the Territory.

Physical literacy increases physical fitness and health, healthy lifestyle habits, social skills, physiological wellness, cognitive skills and educational success.