Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Webb, P, Pearson, P and Forrest, G, Improving the quality of games teaching to promote physical activity, in Cuddihy, TF and Brymer, E (eds), Creating Active Futures, Proceedings of the 26th ACHPER International Conference, Queensland University of Technology, 7-10 July 2009, 443-450.


Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) was introduced in the 1980s and brought a new focus to the teaching of games. The participant is placed in a game situation where problem solving, decision-making and tactical understanding are vital ingredients. Another key ingredient is enjoyment to enhance and promote physical activity. In order to understand the factors that impact on the teaching of games that directly relate to a quality experience for the participant, the researchers surveyed 31 co-ordinators in the Australian Active After Schools Communities (AASC) program. This program is a structured physical activity program delivered nationally to children enrolled in Australian primary schools and Childcare benefit (CCB) approved out of Schools Hours Care Services (OSHCS) during the timeslot of 3.30-5.30pm. The program is designed to engage traditionally non-active children in structured physical activities and build pathways between local community organisations and sporting clubs. The „Playing for Life‟ approach is based on the TGfU model that maximises participation and learning. The 31 coordinators consisted of 12 teachers, 2 Development Officers, 6 Sport Administrators and 11 coaches. The questionnaire addressed four areas: how the „Playing for Life‟ approach in teaching games promoted physical activity; factors that enhance the teaching of games; factors inhibiting the teaching of games; and other strategies used in the teaching of games. Results indicate that a fun, innovative environment enhances the quality of physical activity. Other factors such as knowledge, resources and support that promote physical activity are also discussed.

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