Scheme to combine learning and physical activity for kids

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A NEW children’s activity initiative is to be trailed during the Easter holiday, aimed at primary school aged children to combine exercise and an appreciation of the natural world.

The pilot Go Wild and Get Active sports session will be held at Curraghs Wild Life Park in Ballaugh on Tuesday, March 26, operated by Manx Sport and Recreation (MSR), and uptake has been brisk with all 64 places already being snapped up.

Community sports development officer Kirsty Cooper said: ‘It has been taken up really well. It’s a mix of physical activity and learning about the animals.’

The four- to 11-year-olds will be split into two groups. Kirsty explained that exercise will be based around fun games on the ‘bouncing pillow’, and circuits and assault courses in the grassy areas.

The younger children will be guided around the butterfly trails, and take part in an animal actions circuit, where they will combine learning and exercising by mimicking characteristics of the animals as they are shown around the park, such as standing on one leg at the flamingoes and waddling with the penguins.

The older children will face a fact-finding mission using the information at each enclosure.

MSR’s Gianni Epifani said: ‘The scheme has really come about by Manx Sport and Recreation and the Curraghs Wild Life Park, exploring opportunities to work together, and you could argue, the scheme is a good example of two divisions within the same department (DCCL) working well together and utilising resources.

‘The scheme offers an opportunity to marry exercise and wild life and I’m sure, it will offer a great experience for the children who attend during Easter.’

He added that if the pilot scheme goes well, follow up events in the summer for young people and adults at the park during the summer would be considered.

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