Parents are often keen for their little ones to get started in the family’s favourite sport as soon as possible, but pre-schoolers are not often ready for organised team sports until the age of 5. This is because they’re still learning fundamental motor skills, and getting those motions down pat is critical for excelling in their chosen sport later. Pre-school sports should be more like play than a lesson or drill, with coaches emphasising fun, socialisation and key motor skills. Developing an understanding of working as a team, sharing, and following instructions are also critical elements.
On the Gold Coast, we are lucky to have a number of options for children aged 1-5 starting their sporting journey. The list below covers both indoor and outdoor options, casual attendance and term programs. With locations right across the Coast, you’re bound to find something that fits with your schedule! While I’ve tried to include the most up to date information as possible, please check with each individual operator as details can regularly change and this list is not updated. Information below is accurate as of July 2020.
Playsports offers a fun, multi-sports program of activities, designed to give children a taste of all sports with an aim to establish a lifetime love of sport. Kids will spend a few weeks each on sports including Soccer, Athletics, Rugby, Cricket, AFL, Softball, Tennis and Basketball. Classes run for 30 minutes for 2 & 3 year olds and 45 minutes for 4 & 5 year olds. PlaySports also operates under the City of Gold Coast Active & Healthy Program. Classes are $16 per class and operate from Palm Beach Parklands Monday – Thursday, 8.30am-9.15am, and Fridays 8.30am – 9.15am at Silver Bridle Park, Molendinar.
Ready Steady Go Kids is a multi-sport program for children aged 1.5-6 years. The program teaches children the fundamentals of 10 different sports and develops essential motor skills in a fun, non-competitive environment. Classes are run indoors and cover 5 sports per term. The toddler ‘Get Ready’ 1.5-2.5yo classes are a 30 minute class, while their “Ready’ 2.5-3yo, ‘Steady’ 3-4yo and ‘Go’ 4-6yo classes run for 45 minutes. Classes are held at Palm Beach, Carrara, Upper Coomera and Coomera, and range from $14-$20 depending on age and location.
These two PCYC’s offer a children’s program consisting of “Tiny Tots” and “KinderGym”. In Tiny Tots, children aged 1-5 have fun using different sized balls, boxes, streamers, hoops, musical toys and other equipment to encourage reaching, stretching, crawling and moving, allowing the children to develop their gross and fine motor skills and body awareness. Classes are in a 10 week block and cost $140.
KinderGym classes are structured sessions, which introduce basic skills and strength building activities. It’s designed to inspire motor milestone development, boost confidence and cognitive development and provides a platform for social interaction. Classes also operate in a 10 week block and cost $140.
Jumping Jims is a fun, multi-sport and fitness skills program. Kids will develop both gross and fine motor skills and coordination, and learn group discipline through team work and passing and sharing, covering the fundamentals of being in a team sport. Classes operate on a Friday morning at Hilltop Park, Ormeau for $9 a class. Jumping Jims also operates as part of the Communities for Children Early Years Hubs program, with limited free spots available for Monday and Wednesday sessions, 9-9.30am at the Oxenford and Coomera Community & Youth Centre (Bookings are essential).
EMF Junior is open at Nerang and Pacific Fair, and operates indoor group classes including Soccer, Dance, PRAMA, Bouncefit, Boxing & Martial Arts and Athletics. Kids can join from as young as 18 months old and membership is from $22.95 per week. This includes attendance at 3 group classes per week, and 3 hours free play each week in the onsite play centre. Members also have access to free school holiday activities.
A free, fun, multi-sport and fitness program for pre-school children, coordinated by the City of Gold Coast, that allows them to practice fundamental gross motor skills such as kicking, catching and throwing. Sessions are operated by Gecko Sports and go for 45 minutes. You can find sessions at the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre, Gold Coast Sports and Lesiure Centre, Labrador Community Hub, Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, Pizzey Park and Paradise Point Parklands.
Carrara Squash also participate in the City of Gold Coast Active & Healthy Program. Kids will love this multi-skill program that encourages development of physical literacy through active play and preparing them for an active lifestyle, no matter what sport they choose. Suitable for children aged 3 to 5 years, sessions are held at the Carrara Indoor Sports Stadium, Wednesdays 10.30-11.30am and Thursdays 4-5pm. $8 per class.
The final participant in the City of Gold Coast Active & Healthy Program, Fit Life Martial Arts run toddler gym sessions (for children aged 18 months to four years) that provide the perfect balance of fun, active play, and quiet and peaceful mindfulness to help little ones grow into healthy, active children. Instructors guide you and your child through a range of animal-inspired moves in a space that allows them to crawl, crouch, climb, run, jump, and tumble. These sessions are free, and are held every Wednesday 9am-10am at Firth Park, Mudgereeba.