A Case Study
Sth Auckland Home School
Sth Auckland Home School/Finds the inclusiveness of our skateboarding programme a perfect fit for their students.
Auckland Home Educators (AHE) is a voluntary organisation that serves as a central support network to assist home school families to connect with each other and provide support and information about ongoing events and activities relevant to Home School students.
Home School Educators also have a number of regional networks that run regular sports and recreation programmes and events for children and families. One of those regional networks is Home School South Auckland Sports whose goal is to provide regular sports opportunities to Home School children residing in the South Auckland region. Programmes are run every Monday afternoon from 1.00pm – 2.30pm during term time and cater for approximately 80 children aged between 7 – 18 years of age.
An Alternative Physical Activity that is “Cool”
Home School South Auckland faces a challenge in trying to find new and different recreation activities and facilities that are able and willing to accommodate their students. As Jodi Czepansk, Sports Coordinator points out,
“For us, to get different activities for our kids can be difficult. We wanted something that is different to the traditional sports. Something new that most of the kids would say – that is so cool!”
Having an organisation that can provide and transport all the equipment needed for the children to participate in the activity is a big plus according to Jodi,
“Kids not having to provide skateboards themselves was a huge benefit for us”
It is not uncommon for home schooled children to have learning or behavioural challenges. Some of these children struggle to integrate successfully in traditional learning environments, such as schools and traditional sports, where their behaviour can sometimes cause disruption to the group dynamic. Often learning at home, where they can receive individual attention and encouragement can be a better option for these children.
“We have got a lot of kids with learning and behavioural disabilities such as Asperger’s, which is why they are home schooled. To have people (such as OnBoard Skate) come in and be understanding and work at the level these children are at, is really helpful”.
Jodi particularly loves OnBoard Skate staff’s approach to learning.
“I have had plenty of parents comment that they are very impressed with the encouragement that you (and your staff) provide the children. Particularly those that are not picking it up quite as quick”.
“You (staff) get alongside them, but you don’t make them feel stupid. It is an encouraging way and it is encouraging the kids to do their best. It is not a competition to see who can go the fastest, and that is good”.
Jodi particularly likes how easy it is do business with us;
“It has been so easy (dealing with us). It was just a phone call to you (CEO, Steve Hodges). Your response was – yip, we can do that and we will bring all the gear (skateboards, helmets and safety pads). You confirmed with the venue (that they would allow us to skateboards indoors). Then of course we got together and met you guys and you were so friendly”.
Building Children’s Confidence and Self-Esteem
According to Jodi, seeing how the children’s confidence and self-esteem grew over the course of the programme has been a major benefit of our programme,
“They’re pretty proud of themselves when they’ve done something (skateboarding) that, at first they were reluctant to do because they were worried that they wouldn’t be very good at it”.
“They are really pleased with themselves, and that is so neat to see”.
Jodi was keen to share with us the story of one young women who – initially - was a very reluctant participant.
“Two years ago, when you ran the first programme, one of the girls (students) was adamant she did not want to participate. After much convincing, she did it (participated in the session)”.
“We have an encouragement trophy which we present every term to the students. She got it for participating (in the skateboard sessions). At the end of the sessions she (told us) she loved it (skateboarding). She said to us – thank you so much for making me do it because it was excellent”.
“I think you are approachable, friendly and easy to work with, which has been really nice”.
- Jodi Czepansk, Volunteer Sport Coordinator
Flexibility of delivery: We were able to transport all equipment to a venue convenient to the customer.
An Inclusive Activity: Children of all ages, genders and physical and mental abilities were able to participate on an equal footing with each other.
Passionate, Caring Staff: Our staff are passionate about what they do and take time to help and encourage each child achieve their personal goals.