Bulldogs half-time drill is child’s play

Youngacademics, 09 Jun 2023

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs will be joined by special guests at Accor Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park this long weekend, when more than one hundred three and five-year-olds from Young Academics Early Learning Centre (YA) will take to the field at half-time to perform a warm-up routine they have been practising for weeks.

The half-time activity has been created in conjunction with the NRL club to reinforce the importance of physical activity, staying active, improving coordination, and developing gross motor skills. First-grade Bulldogs players and fathers themselves, Ryan Sutton and Braidon Burns, worked with team members at Young Academics to teach the routine, saying they’ve had lots of fun engaging with the children and motivating them to become involved in sport and fitness.

“It’s been really rewarding working with the Young Academics children. Even in the short time we were with them, I noticed them becoming more and more confident as we went over the warm-up routine. I hope it has inspired some of them to be more active and get involved in sport. It’s been great to see all the kids taking part and having fun,” said Sutton.

Burns agreed: “Whether it’s organised sports, skills sessions at their early learning centres, or family play time in the back yard, kids gain confidence, improved coordination and social skills through sport and fitness. I hope some of these kids get involved in rugby league and grow up to become future Bulldogs players!”

This is the second season that YA has been the Official Childcare Centre Partner and Sleeve Partner of the Bulldogs – a collaboration which delivers ongoing value to the YA community by tapping into the football club’s fitness expertise and by creating unique opportunities for children to get involved with their sporting heroes.

The Bulldogs partnership complements YA’s’ ongoing commitment to developing children’s gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination through scheduled sports programs and state-of-the-art outdoor play environments, with Bulldogs staff and players working alongside the Young Academics teams to develop activities such as the half-time routine.

Bulldogs Chief Executive, Aaron Warburton, has been delighted with the YA partnership so far, noting all the positive benefits children receive as a result of the relationship: “I’ve been really impressed with Young Academics’ learning environments and their commitment to teaching the children about the importance of physical and mental wellness, sport, fitness and movement, which is so important in shaping young lives,” he commented.

“The Bulldogs are committed to creating opportunities for young people to be part of our Junior League system and pathways, in the knowledge that this can play a major part in their development at a crucial period in their life. Who knows – maybe we’ll have a YA graduate in our team one day?”

Young Academics Group Managing Director, James Kazzi says watching the children perform the half time routine at Monday’s game will be one of the highlights of the partnership so far.

“Joining forces with the Bulldogs has presented us with many chances to learn from each other,” he said.

“We have now successfully implemented the Bulldogs warm-up routine into our everyday program and rolled it out across all our centres. The children and educators start every day with the session to prepare themselves for the busy day of learning ahead – and we have found it to be an excellent way to inspire the children to learn new moves and encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle, now and into the future.”

The Young Academics warm-up routine will be performed during the half-time activities of the NRL Premiership Round 15, Bulldogs v Eels, match on Monday 12, June 2023.

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