Kindy kids stage own Games

From Glasgow grounds to Milverton Park

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:00 30/07/2014
Kindy
DAVID UNWIN/FAIRFAX NZ

READY, STEADY: Milverton Kindergarten students compete in a version of the Commonwealth games hosted by Hokowhitu School students. Tarquin Te Purei 4, Emily Price 4 and Zachary Vining, 5, have a go at long jump at a mini Commonwealth Games hosted by Hokowhitu School.

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Swap the grand grounds of Glasgow for the freshly-mown lawns of Milverton Park and you have a setting suitable for a pint-sized Commonwealth Games celebration.

Hokowhitu School students hosted a Games-inspired event for preschoolers from Milverton Kindergarten yesterday.

It wasn't quite the lycra-clad, medal-clambering spectacle keen Commonwealth Games watchers may see on television from Scotland, but there was promising sporting prowess on show, cheering crowds and even a "royal" guest in attendance.

The Palmerston North school's year 5 and 6 students, aged between 10 and 12, organised the games for the kindy kids to participate in as part of the school's enquiry unit, based on "developing a sense of community".

As well as having an opening and closing ceremony, the event also featured an appearance from "The Queen", Erin Gilchrist, 11, who, adorned with a crown and elegant gown, watched the ceremonies from the winners' podium.

More than 40 preschoolers were then run through activities including long jump, balancing on a beam and jumping hurdles.

The entirely student-run event had about 60 school pupils take on a role to ensure its smooth running, including caring for children, working stopwatches, crowd control and ground preparation, which meant a call to the Palmerston North City Council to check the park was in pristine condition.

Master of ceremonies Ashtuti Kumar, 11, said the event was a good opportunity to meet new people.

"I've really enjoyed speaking to the kids because they're all really cute," she said.

Teacher Reece Hawkins said pupils had embraced the task of running a Commonwealth Games-styled event. They had researched, planned and trialled the activities on the school's new entrants classes to test if they would be suitable for the 4-year-old children.

They also made a video message from "The Queen", which was sent to the early childhood centre a day early to get children excited about the event.

"Seeing them take on that ownership and responsibility has been good," Hawkins said.

"It's about building connections in our community, helping our community in some way and because we've been looking at the Commonwealth Games, it made it a pretty authentic setting."

There were a few raised eyebrows when countries like China were included in the opening ceremony as they're not part of the Commonwealth, but it was all part of a bigger picture, Hawkins said.

"It's more like the community games really . . . the countries picked were representative of our community and children."

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- Manawatu Standard

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