Muswellbrook Public School students leap into Bengalla Mining Company-sponsored gymnastics and PDHPE programs

THERE'S certainly a spring in the step of the pupils at Muswellbrook Public School (MPS) at the moment.

That's largely due to the Sports In Schools Australia (SISA) gymnastics and PDHPE programs currently being implemented throughout Term 3.

And, in a show of appreciation this week, MPS principal Joan Stephens and stage one assistant principal (relieving) Katie Willott presented a certificate of thanks to the major sponsor of the initiative, Bengalla Mining Company.

For the past four years, the students have tested themselves in a variety of disciplines, from the rings to the balance beams, the trampolines to the springboards, and much, much more.

"Bengalla's been on board from the start," Ms Willott said.

"It's helped reduce the cost of the programs to everyone.

"Not only is all the equipment supplied, qualified instructors are on hand to help put the kids through their paces, too.

"The mining company's support is simply brilliant."

Most of the youngsters participate in the eight-week half-hour format, which provides plenty of health benefits to the "littlies".

"They get ample time at every activity," Ms Willott said.

"That alternates between gymnastics and PDHPE on a weekly basis.

"From the kindies to Year 6, the kids adore it.

"I think it's created a love of physical activity as well.

"On top of that, the pupils have an opportunity to work on their coordination and in a team environment.

"Plus, they really look forward to it - this initiative's extremely popular."

Bengalla Mining Company community relations specialist Fiona Hartin was chuffed by the school's gesture.

"These are the types of programs we like to get behind," she said.

"It's terrific to see the children having fun."