Little rugby fans are expected to jump up and down with a local appearance by Anthony Minichiello and his team for free MiniFit sessions at Mounties this Thursday, October 11.
After Minichiello retired from the game he started the MiniFit program to prepare the next generation of potential football players and to promote general health and fitness to children aged five to 12.
About 200 children signed up to MiniFit sessions at Mounties last July and this time there’s already more than 135 signed up.
“Today’s world is ever-changing, especially with the digital age. It’s so easy to jump on a play station or Youtube for hours and I think outdoor activities are getting lost,” Minichiello said.
“We have smaller blocks of land now, things have completely changed. When I grew up I was on acreage and we were always outside. The first thing I would do after school was ride on my bike, jump on the trampoline or do footy.
“Today a lot of kids go straight to their phones or game consoles and they can get hooked. It can make way for a bad down spiral pattern and they might find themselves not being active at all. Humans are designed to move and not stay stagnant, it’s a big problem in our society.”
He said being a father inspired him to work with children.
“I have a daughter and we run around together, do cartwheels and I’m always in play mode with her. I join in and try to encourage being outdoors and her imagination. I would encourage her to do whatever she loves. She does five different sports already so I think it’s best to expose them to being active and they will naturally gravitate to what they love.”
He said the program wasn’t just designed for aspiring football players.
“Its not just rugby league focused and we also have a lot of girls. I’d say the ratio is 60 to 40. We talk about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, nutrition, the importance of hydration and getting active.
“A lot of young boys watch rugby league but this program is about general health and wellbeing. We integrate that with team work and start the conversation so they are educated about it at a young age.
“The session will be managed by myself and four trainers on the day in four different groups. I roam around and interact with the kids. We also give them a booklet so they go away with hints and tips.”
- Two MiniFit sessions will be held at Mounties on October 11. A 10am session will be held for children, 5 to 8, and a 1pm session will be held for children, 9 to 12. Details: Minifit.com.au.