Steve Jones of Sport4Kids talks sports-based curriculums, stakeholders and Victorian pitches
Since we last spoke to Steve Jones, CEO of Sport4Kids, a lot has happened. His company has expanded to a further 32 territories, with a number of new network partners involved. There are plans to expand to Australia, China and the Middle East – Steve’s promise to revolutionise the children’s sports industry seems to be coming true. We asked him more about the year so far.
The driving force behind the development of Steve’s company has been his own two children, who demonstrated the extent of the gap in sports provision in schools. This, he attributes to the fact that many primary schools are without the funding or resources to allow for a developed sports curriculum. He stated that S4K is “the only organisation probably in the history of PE to have a curriculum for any given sport in the PE environment.”
Of S4K, Steve said “Every single sport that you experience in a school, whether it’s hockey, football, cricket, athletics, or whatever, we have a set programme that we’re able to deliver to a high level for the children. The right variety is important, but [also] the depth and quality.”
Indeed, Steve acknowledges that sport is often not tailored towards children, citing the fact that the majority of sports are played on sizeable pitches, a legacy from the Victoria era. Coupled with this is the fact that the supply side of the sports market is fragmented, and that Ofsted have further reduced the sports requirements in schools. The lack of coordinated vision for children’s sport is S4K’s biggest challenge at present.
Steve recognises that “all of the stakeholders have challenges in different ways. Children themselves have challenges accessing accessible, enjoyable, involving sport experience. Parents have a challenge in trying to find reliable, high quality provisions and to choose the best for their child.” It is thus S4K intends on providing accessible, enjoyable sport for children.
S4K attracts the best, with a tailored master’s programme for sports educators. He believes that “Developing skills and expertise in this space can future proof both your career and your healthy lifestyle, and [is] a great way of developing yourself for the future.”
Steve hopes that in the coming years S4K can provide children with the ability to live a healthy lifestyle, and to create certain capabilities in our youth and our young adults including teamwork, education, resilience.
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