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Slovenia's kindergarten project

Published: Saturday 18 December 2010, 16.34CET
Published: Saturday 18 December 2010, 16.34CET

Slovenia's kindergarten project

Presenter 1: In Slovenia children as young as one are getting accustomed to a ball as part of an inspirational scheme called the Kindergarten Project… the scheme, which began in September 2009, includes at least an hour a day of ball-based activities three times a week… at the start of 2011 as many as 1000 children from the ages of one to six were involved in kindergartens across the country, with the Football Association of Slovenia hopeful that the scheme will continue to grow to incorporate 12 new kindergartens each year… To find out more about the project we visited Ptuj, the oldest city in Slovenia, where the young starlets certainly seemed to be having fun. (44 secs)

Bratuš Božina (Slovenian) 1: This idea is a part of a bigger project that includes the physical activity of pre-school children. It connects three generations – pre-school children, their parents and their grandparents. We aim to get to know the children using different sizes of balls – small, medium and large – to develop skills such as co-ordination and controlling the ball. What we believe is that we have to educate the pre-school children in every area, one of them being football. If they have the ability, if they have the knack of orienting themselves in space, of controlling the ball, it may happen that amongst all these children one may become a professional player. (57 secs)

Anica Vidović (Slovenian) 1: Today’s activities were based on sport, and particularly ball activities. We wanted them to play with the ball, to manipulate it, since the ball is a basic requisite for developing the motor functions as well as the mental side. I think that the ball is the best option for children when it comes to exercising. As soon as you give the ball to the children they will try to kick it. These are of course the early elements of football. At this age we do not teach them about the rules, but we want them to get used to the ball. Only at a later stage do we tell them what a goal is, what a shot on a goal is. More often than not children love to play football. (47 secs)

Anica Vidović (Slovenian) 2: We do these kinds of activities on a daily basis. Even in the case of bad weather the children always have the ball at their disposal. We have a lot of different types of balls including small, light and foamy balls which are not dangerous indoors. (18 secs)

Presenter 2: None of the teachers involved in the Kindergarten Project are given formal coaching training, however the Football Association of Slovenia makes a point of educating them in their football philosophy while also advising on activities… One feature that makes the scheme unique is the fact that it is the subject of a 30-minute programme on national television, with the work of a different kindergarten the focus in each show… and the one overriding factor that shines through in each episode is ‘fun’.  (30 secs)

Anica Vidović (Slovenian) 3: They enjoy it a lot. They enjoy playing sport and we enjoy watching how they play… I think that playing sport motivates the children very much. You can see they are relaxed, and they enjoy playing sport. (16 secs)

Tatjana (Slovenian) 1: My daughter enjoys it a great deal. She also engages in a lot of exercise at home, and in doing this we try to relax ourselves… I think that what is going on today in this kindergarten is something special. (8 secs)

Anica Vidović (Slovenian) 4: They get to mix with each other, to be involved, to be in contact, friendship. With these activities we teach them tolerance. It is important that we show them that sometimes it is important to be patient, to help each other in certain situations. There are less and less of those qualities in society nowadays, but they play an important part in life, so we try to teach them those qualities when they are still very young. (25 secs)

Tatjana (Slovenian) 2: Yes, this really is something wonderful. It is extremely genuine, and not every parent has the opportunity to be involved in this way, so what we do here in this kindergarten is very positive. (7 secs)

Bratuš Božina (Slovenian) 2: It is certain that every single activity helps the children in their development. Children have to be active, because this means that they are healthy and animated. And if we manage to channel this vivacity into sporting activities then I believe we have achieved our goal. (19 secs)

Last updated: 18/01/11 16.46CET

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