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J Sci Med Sport. 2002 Sep;5(3):244-52.

Fundamental movement skills--how do primary school children perform? The 'Move it Groove it' program in rural Australia.

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Health Promotion Unit, Northern Rivers Area Health Service, NSW, Australia.


Child Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) underpin active lifestyles yet little is known of their distribution and mastery. 'Move it Groove it' project rated proficiency of primary school children (n = 1045, 18 schools) in skills of balance, throw, catch, sprint, hop, kick, side gallop and jump. Rating categories were 'mastery', 'near mastery' or 'poor' (ie mastered all, all but one, or less of the five to six components of an FMS). Less than half of all child tests were rated at mastery (21.3%) or near mastery (25.7%) level. In grade three, 75.4% of children achieved mastery or near mastery (MNM) in static balance but less than half did so for any other FMS. In grade four, 59.0% achieved MNM in the side gallop and 56.0% in the catch but less than half did so for any other FMS. Although the highest percent mastery for both genders was for the balance, the skills best performed thereafter by boys (throw and kick) rated poorest for girls. Conversely the hop and side gallop which rated, after balance, as the skills best mastered by girls, were among the more poorly performed skills for boys. The low prevalence of FMS mastery found in this survey suggests that there may be great potential to improve fundamental movement skills of primary aged children in many parts of rural Australia. Even if the aim were for children to achieve near mastery levels, the improvement could be substantial in every skill category. Where appropriate, gender differences in mastery might easily be addressed by tailored physical education programs and modification of social and physical environments.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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