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Former Great British Hockey Player Visits Fennies Nurseries

Olivia Jones

Olivia Jones

Content Writer

Fennies Nurseries children playing hockey

We are delighted to share that Eloise Stenner, Great British and European hockey competitor has been working with our staff and children to develop fun sporting activity sessions across all our nurseries from February to May.

Fennies will be introducing more physical activity within the children’s daily routines in order to support development areas outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. The sessions are coached by Eloise Stenner who has an impressive background playing for Great Britain and England in Junior World Cup and European tournaments. Throughout the last few weeks, Eloise has introduced the children to Hockey lessons as a taster and will be offering further sporting activities to develop this further.

Eloise’s sessions will be tailored to specific age groups and will focus on encouraging the younger generation to become more involved in sports. Eloise incorporates fun games combined with activities designed to hone technical and gross motor skills supporting crucial physical and emotional developments. 

“I use age appropriate equipment as well as the support of staff, encouraging children to listen, share and take turns, whilst developing hand-eye co-ordination.”

child playing hockey

Physical and emotional benefits

This initiative is an excellent way of encouraging the development of both physical and emotional skills within the crucial early years. Regular activity decreases anxiety, stress and loneliness by increasing serotonin hormones in the brain. Wimbledon Fennies Nursery Manager Tatiana has noticed a significant improvement on the children’s behaviour since introducing the sessions.

“As early years educators we know how important physical activity is for the children and the benefits this plays on their overall mental health and well-being. We’ve noticed a significant change in behaviour. Children can self-regulate with ease, their concentration and engagement has increased, and we’ve noticed an improved mood throughout the day which in turn reduces the possibility of anxiety and stress amongst our children.”

Regular exercise has also been proven to help strengthen children’s muscles and bones as well as reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes and other health conditions later in life. Eloise also commented on the increased excitement towards new experiences, “since spending time across the nurseries, I have noticed a significant increase in the children’s enthusiasm for being in the outdoor environment and their eagerness to learn something new.”

Social Impacts

Not only does exercise improve physical and mental welfare in early years, but the social impact has also been recognised. Sport is an excellent way of encouraging children to take turns and make new friends which leads to increased confidence and self-belief which can be applied to other areas of their life.

“Children need to be fully supported to develop their physical skills through movement of expression and exercise, in doing so, supports their social interactions, co-ordination as well as improving their self-esteem and sleep routines.”

Future Aims

Fennies aims to continue building upon the successful lessons by introducing a specifically designed programme to offer a variety of sporting activities developed by Eloise and Fennies Head of Education, Shanti Flynn. The custom-made plan will consist of many activities and games designed to incorporate agility, balance, special awareness and coordination.

Children playing hockey

“Children should be encouraged and supported to try new activities to ensure that they are physically active throughout the day. The learning though our new sporting initiative is not limited to one area, there are many opportunities for listening and speaking, as well as mathematical development as children count their steps, the number of bean bags they can throw or measure how far they can throw them. We are delighted to welcome Eloise and look forward to her sharing her knowledge and passion with our staff and children.”

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