Mini Athletics is the first of its kind. First and foremost, it is so much fun! However, Mini Athletics is so much more than that. Through 3 progressive classes, children go on a fantastic journey in athletic movement. They are introduced to the basics of athletic movement skills (running, jumping, throwing) in a play based yet structured format. Children are encouraged to develop athletic skills that are fundamental to their early physical development. In addition, the exercises build cognitive and social skills, preparing them for the early learning goals.
Children need to learn basic skills of running, jumping and throwing in order to enhance sporting competence and confidence. Therefore, Mini Athletics enhances athleticism through a progressive model of balance, co-ordination, speed and agility exercises. Our older classes then progress to learning specific techniques of these skills in athletics based games. Children will become competent, not just in athletics but all sports that involve these fundamental physical skills.
The cognitive element of our classes is highly important. Research has shown that a structured program of movement should be part of every child’s education. In our early years class, children start to learn the format and how to take instruction. Initially, this will involve parent participation but our aim is for every child to take part independently (although parents will need to be present at every class). In our older classes, we progress the cognitive element further by introducing two-step instructions and implementing these in competitive athletic events.
Through extensive research, the Mini Athletics program was created to enhance positive personality characteristics such as confidence, self-esteem, sharing and communicating. This is achieved with our excellent lesson plans and positive coaching methods. A positive introduction to sport is absolutely vital to enhance participation through life.
Mini Athletics was created by Kirk Bowyer, a strength and conditioning coach for elite athletes and Clare Bowyer, a primary school teacher (PE specialist).
Kirk has worked with many professional athletes from tennis players to formula one racing drivers. He has also worked with some of Great Britain’s most talented sporting juniors (in a wide range of sports, including athletics) to improve performance through physical training.
Clare has a wealth of experience as a primary school teacher. As well as being a physical education specialist, she has spent much of her career educating the early years.
When Kirk and Clare had their first child, they were keen to take him to a class that would meet both of their goals. Kirk was keen to enhance athleticism/sporting participation and Clare wanted him to build his confidence, social and cognitive skills. Therefore, they co-created Mini Athletics!