IN the lead up to the start of the Football World Cup this week Orange schoolchildren have had the chance to learn skills and hone their existing talents at an inter-school carnival at Sir Jack Brabham Park.
The students, mostly from Years 5 and 6, ranged from those who were given the opportunity to try soccer for the first time, to devotees of the game who started at a young age and play every Saturday.
The day of soccer was part of the city’s Pre-2 program which is designed to bring selected children together from different schools on a range of activities and subject areas to extend their learning experience.
Pre-2 co-ordinator Glen Bourke said the 180 children selected to take part were passionate about spending a day on the soccer fields regardless of their experience, and a great deal of thought had gone into choosing the children who would most benefit from the day.
“Our program runs a number of these types of days throughout the year,” he said.
Mr Bourke said while many children were being exposed to the sport for the first time, others who had been playing for some time were taken under the wing of Football NSW who came to Orange for the day to take the children through a range of ball skills exercise.
He said the next specialist day planned for the Pre-2 program is to focus on students who have expressed a strong interest in cooking.
“We are hoping to get local chefs on board to mentor the children,” he said.
The Pre-2 model in Orange is based around creating a community of schools who can take part in the variety of activities and Mr Bourke said it is already attracting interest from other towns and cities who are inquiring to copy the Orange model.