Eight hundred South Australian primary school students descended on Flinders University last week for a footy extravaganza.
The year 5 and 6 students, who took part in a series of coaching sessions and AFL 9’s based games, were put through their paces over four days by final year sport and physical education students at Flinders Main Oval.
The entire day was planned and run by students as part of the assessment for their Introduction to Sport Coaching, Management and Administration topic.
They spent the semester planning for the delivery of a large scale sport event which included AFL and SANFL guest speakers, giveaways and a free lunch.
High profile guests included Western Bulldog Caleb Daniel, Port Adelaide footballer Jarrod Lienert, and Crows defender Anne Hatchford.
Dr Sam Elliott, Lecturer in Sport, Health and Physical Activity at Flinders, says the event is a leading example of simulated learning because the students will have to organise similar large scale sporting events from scratch in future roles in the real world.
“In the broader sport industry where experience is increasingly regarded as the key determinant for employability, this topic places our students ahead of the game as they enter careers in physical education, sport and exercise science.”
Dr Elliott says the experience provides students essential lessons on the kind of situations they will encounter during their careers.
“Consistent with the university’s 2025 agenda, our students leave the topic with an appreciation of, and aptitude for, the foundational aspects of planning, facilitating and evaluating large-scale sport events by engaging in a rich and highly personalised learning experience.”
The event, which invited 17 schools to participate in mini AFL 9’s events, and pre game coaching, has become an annual community enterprise which benefits both flinders students and youngsters seeking an introduction to AFL.
“While our students benefit enormously, it goes without saying that the hundreds of school-aged students who attend the event each year also benefit from meeting AFL players, experiencing fun and enjoyment from games and coaching, and even the thrill of learning from our amazing final year students.”