Join me for Sporting Schools!

Sporting Schools will engage more than 850,000 children across Australia in what will be the country’s largest school-based participation programme.

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) has partnered with 32 national sporting organisations (NSOs) to offer sporting programmes to children before, during or after school. Registration is free for all Australian primary schools, sporting organisations, and coaches.

By bringing sports, schools, and community organisations together, Sporting Schools aims to increase children’s participation in sport and to connect with local sporting clubs in their community.

Sara Carrigan Cycling has registered with Sporting Schools and can support school sporting programmes by delivering cycling within a range of sports.

By focusing on having fun, having a go and getting active, Sporting Schools will provide children with positive sporting experiences to help foster a lifelong interest in sport. Sara Carrigan Cycling supports this through the Playing for Life philosophy, which focuses on providing safe, fun and engaging activities that get all children involved, regardless of their level of ability.

For further information about Sporting Schools and Playing for Life visit www.sportingschools.gov.au



The philosophy is based on the game sense approach to coaching. This philosophy creates a fun and inclusive environment for the introduction of sport and other structured physical activities. It also ensures children of all abilities are engaged in the activities and have a positive and successful experience.

What is Playing for Life?

Playing for Life is an approach to coaching that uses games rather than drills to introduce the skills and tactics of the particular sport or structured physical activity being delivered.  Each session is designed purposefully, so that the games progressively introduce and develop the particular skill that is the focus of the session.

How is Playing for Life implemented?

The playing for life approach is underpinned by the following key concepts:

  • The game is the focus: Children develop sporting skills and tactics through fun games and activities (by ‘playing the game’) rather than performing traditional skill based drills in isolation from the game.  The game is the focus of the session, challenging children to think about what they are actually doing and why. Each session should be designed with a particular sporting outcome or skill development in mind, and games selected purposefully to achieve these objectives.
  • Coach is a facilitator: Coaches play a facilitator role rather than a director’s role. They set challenges for the children to find solutions through games rather than instructing children how to perform a particular skill. Coaches provide key coaching points for performing the skill then set the children a challenge that they must solve through activity. This engages children in the activity at a level that suits their own ability, and helps them to learn through self-discovery and working with and observing other children.
  • Discrete coaching: Coach instructions and demonstrations are kept to a minimum and play is allowed to continue where possible.  Discrete coaching is provided on the side in an unobtrusive way, creating an encouraging and supportive environment where children can develop at their own pace. It can help build a child’s confidence and self esteem and allows the participant to receive one-on-one support where needed.
  • Role models: Use player role models during the activities to demonstrate and emphasise good technique or strategies. Be aware of cultural considerations when adopting this strategy.
  • Ask the players: The use of ‘questioning’ is a valuable strategy to engage the children themselves in changing the activity to increase participation and to make the activity more or less challenging. Feedback from the children will give a good indication of whether the game or activity is achieving the desired outcomes.
  • CHANGE IT: Coaches constantly observe the game to ensure maximum engagement of children of all abilities by considering the following questions:
    • Are all children enjoying and/or engaged in the game?
    • Is the purpose of the game being achieved?
    • Are all children being challenged? (Is it too difficult, too easy, one-sided)