The Gold Coast SUNS are embarking on its next release of content through the SUNS Learning portal, with an online course for Years 7 & 8 Health & Physical Education (HPE) students immersing them in the SUNS training environment.
SUNS Fitness, will provide engaging content aligned to the Australian Curriculum and be delivered over a six-week timeframe. The course content will mix both theoretical and practical elements and provide teachers with all the teaching and learning resources required.
For Gold Coast SUNS AFLW player, Education Program Coordinator and teacher Lauren Ahrens, this course provides all the resources to deliver an insightful, engaging unit of work around fitness, movement, and physical activity.
Ahrens said the new SUNS Fitness concept came to life after the success of the SUNS’ ‘Play to Your Strengths’ educational program.
“When we designed the Play to Your Strengths program, we found there was a genuine need for this sort of educational content with all the learning resources in one place,” Ahrens said.
“We have had overwhelmingly positive feedback from schools which has prompted us to expand our offering with the new SUNS Fitness program.
“What we do as athletes is implement strategies to improve our fitness and health outcomes, and the same principles can be applied to students at any level of fitness to promote and encourage healthy choices.
“As SUNS AFL and AFLW players, we want to be role models for the younger generation and this program allows us to connect with students in a meaningful way so their learnings can be transferred directly into their own sporting and physical activity pursuits.”
Although the insights will be provided by the SUNS players, students are encouraged to think about their own activity levels and consider how their learning can be used as a catalyst for improved health and fitness outcomes.
For Gold Coast SUNS General Manager of Consumer, Community & Marketing, Jane McGough, this addition to SUNS Learning allows the club to create more impactful connections and provide value where it is needed.
“Connecting with young fans through inclusive and positive interactions in our local and regional areas is critical as we continue to grow the SUNS brand,” McGough said.
“Our purpose as a football club is to have a genuine impact in our community and the SUNS Fitness program allows us to expand our offerings to reach more students across multiple year levels.
“By utilising our young SUNS AFL and AFLW players to deliver the content, it’s a great way for more students to become more closely connected to our players and club in an authentic way.
“The addition of the SUNS Fitness program is another fantastic example of the club’s commitment to growing its presence and positive impact in schools.”
Playbk Sports co-founder Damian Hecker, himself having started his professional career as a PE teacher sees SUNS Fitness as a unique opportunity for teachers to take their students into an elite training environment, without leaving the school grounds.
“I think physical education is often undervalued within the school curriculum and working alongside Lauren in developing this course has been motivating, knowing the impact this product will have and the clear gap it fills in the market," Hecker said.
“Upon release, any physical education student in the world can get a glimpse into the SUNS training environment and transfer their learning for positive health and physical activity outcomes. The SUNS really are leading the way when it comes to providing contemporary education products for the schools market.”
The six sessions explore fitness and elements of physical activity as well as sedentary behaviour in society and challenges students to design their own training programs for a particular sport or physical activity pursuit.
Through this approach the SUNS are providing new content and ways to deliver the health and physical education curriculum while also helping to alleviate the planning time for teachers.
The course is set for a small scale launch in Term 1, 2023 with a few schools. If you’d like to pre-register your interest in SUNS Fitness please contact Lauren Ahrens – SunsInSchools@goldcoastfc.com.au