Huff and Puff program keeps kids fit at Gowrie St PS

By Ashlea Witoslawski

A chilly winter morning did not stop Gowrie Street Primary School staff and students from taking part in the Huff and Puff program.

On Thursday, a group of about 50 participants welcomed Richmond Victorian Football League Women’s player and former Gowrie St student Natarsha Bamblett to the track.

Joining her younger sisters, Ms Bamblett said the program had been ‘‘an amazing initiative for kids and families’’.

‘‘It’s great to see the kids interacting with others and is a positive start to the day,’’ she said.

‘‘Even our grandpa and puppy dog have come along.’’

On every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the program attracts students of all ages as well as parents, pets and principals.

Gowrie St sport co-ordinator Timothy Bowden said the fitness initiative was first established at the end of term one, encouraging students to enjoy some fitness before school to earn house points.

‘‘Many of the students are out here every morning and we’ve definitely seen improved fitness,’’ Mr Bowden said. ‘‘The students want to keep going and doing more, they are looking fitter and are more willing to work out.’’

Gowrie St principal Marion Wetherbee said the program had been a great success.

‘‘It encourages the kids to be successful and feel they can achieve anything,’’ she said.

‘‘The fitter the legs, the fitter the brain.’’

The school has also seen greater school sport success, most notably in cross country on a regional level.

Muhammad Ali Alizada, 11, benefited so much from the program he made the cross country state championships in Melbourne.

‘‘I enjoy doing it and just having fun,’’ he said.

Each lap of the oval equates to one house point. All points are tallied up and shared at assembly on a Friday every week.

Yellow house is in the lead.