Multi-Skills move set for September start
The product set to be a schools best-seller has hit the virtual
The package that will change the way our youngsters learn physical
skills is now getting ready to begin its journey to classes,
leisure centres and clubs across the country.
Just over a decade since Dragon Sport was introduced for the
sporting skill development of children, work to research the best
in children's sporting development from across the globe will see
Wales launch Dragon Multi-Skills and Sport from September.
Dragon Multi-Skills and Sport will
focus on embedding basic skills for life such as agility, balance
and co-ordination (ABC) before moving onto playing a specific
By arming children with core physical skills, Sport Wales believes
that they will enjoy the sports more as they become more competent
The important ideal is that young people go through a journey from
toddler to teenager, with a learning structure around them - in and
out of school - that will guide them through developing their
physical skills so they enjoy participating in sport.
One part of that journey, multi-skills takes Dragon Sport one step
further - giving children the skills they need for the sports
before actually moving into the games themselves at the primary
"More than ever, there is an appreciation that if our children are
to have a life in sport one thing is certain - they need the skills
and confidence from an early age to enable them to take part," says
Sport Wales Manager Julie Rotchell.
"We've had a portfolio of resources in place for some time to get
young people playing and interested in sport.
"But we think we can take this a bit further and raise the bar even
more. If a child has the skills early on in their life then they
are more likely to play sport and keep playing sport. It is so
important to develop generic physical skills first before moving
into sport specific ones."
Working with experts from across Wales and UK, evidence was taken
from across the world including from countries such as Canada, New
Zealand and Australia.
The expectation is that, from the age
of three up to 11, children will be set on a path to explore and
learn through sport that will provide them with the building blocks
to play sport.
From ages three to seven (foundation age) young people best
experience skill development through play. Sport Wales' Play
to Learn resources encourage this through story books, activity
cards and a technical skills manual. There's even a dedicated Play to Learn
website with games and activities for parents to play at home
with their children. Encouraging parents to get involved in their
child's physical skill development is seen as being a key part of
the skills for life process.
From ages seven to eleven (KS2) young people should experience
opportunities to continue to develop general physical skills in
order for them to be able to participate in a range of sports
throughout their lives. And this is where Dragon Multi-skills and
Sport comes in.
In support, the Welsh Government has recognised the importance of
physical literacy and even set out its place as a development skill
at the top of the class in importance alongside reading and
writing. Running becoming another 'R' in education key
Just like the traditional Dragon Sport scheme, there will be
resources, guides and equipment made available to help run
With a pilot project in schools and community clubs successfully
completed, the new multi-skills packs are now for sale at the
Sport Wales online shop.
"Feedback from the pilot has included
that more children have been attending extra-curricular sessions
because of the opportunity to learn more general skills with their
fellow pupils," adds Rotchell. "General comments around team sports
indicated that participants showed more ability around things like
balance with a ball when they had taken part in general learning
"The teaching of multi-skills and sport will work in the same way
that Dragon Sport does now.
"Before leading Dragon Multi-Skills and Sport session the leader
should undergo training from a qualified tutor. We have been
up-skilling tutors on a number of levels ready to roll out
"Anyone looking to access Dragon Multi-Skills and Sport should
contact their local authority sports' development teams for details
of training in their area.
"We are looking for schools to join up with their local sports
clubs and leisure facilities so that children have multi-skills
opportunities inside and outside the school environment. It really
needs joint learning and planning if multi-skills is going to
"For this to really maximise its potential the school club links
are vital for the training to take place in clusters that are ready
to work together. We are encouraging a slow roll out to make sure
that we are establishing real success stories in this joined up
"Children from a young age love to run, jump, catch and throw,"
says Rotchell. "If we are able to provide appropriate opportunities
to encourage these youngsters to develop a higher level of physical
skills, we hope they will have skills and confidence to develop a
love of sport."
• Dragon Sport introduces children to coaching, skill
development and appropriate competition using versions of the adult
game, modified to meet their needs and skill levels.
The eight Dragon Sports are:
• The Dragon Sport scheme has proved hugely successful in
Wales with around 98% of primary schools involved in the
• Over the last year, there have been more than 210,000
registrations for all activities, around 723 community clubs and
3867 school activity clubs.
• The Dragon Multi-Skills and Sport packs can be purchased
Sport Wales online shop.