Sporty mentors provide boost for Buderim kids

Mon, 5th Jun 2017

A group of local school children is reaping the benefits of exercise, which extend beyond the physical. 

Students at Buderim Mountain State School have had their whole perception of school turned around thanks to an innovative sports mentoring program.

The SunnyKids program, which was funded by a Buderim Foundation community grant, offered students mentoring with a martial arts component to help build self-esteem, self-efficacy and resilience.

SunnyKids CEO Chris Turner says sport not only keeps kids fit and gives them a break from computer screens, but it also provides opportunities for social growth.

“We are now discovering extra benefits when sporting activity is enhanced with qualified mentoring and guidance. These include improved emotional and behavioural responses,” he says.

“We saw this benefit extend to the wider school community and we know there was also a benefit to the children’s siblings and their families.

“We were able to support these outcomes with survey data that confirmed 100 per cent of students completed every session and 100 per cent of students stated they had a noticeable increase in confidence and a better understanding of health.”

After seeing the work carried out by Bobby and Katrina Wilson from Awesome Wilson Boxing, Dave Larkin, better known as Chappy Dave, says the 10 boys participating in the program began looking forward to their Tuesday afternoons.

“They all get in, work hard, focus as a team and discipline themselves as individuals. To see them test their strength, fitness and performance, which then in turn increases their self-awareness and self-esteem, is so valuable,” he says.

Buderim Foundation chair Heinz Seeberg says the mentoring program is just one of 12 community initiatives to receive a Buderim Foundation grant last year.

 “The Buderim Foundation is committed to supporting the community, particularly our younger people, which is why we established a youth sub-fund specifically used to support programs like this one,” he says.

The foundation is a not-for-profit organisation with a team of more than 50 volunteers that seeks to build a stronger community by harnessing the power of giving and distributing grants for worthy community projects. 

Applications are now open for not-for-profit organisations providing services or undertaking projects that benefit the Buderim community. 

For more information, visit the foundation’s website