School News

Helping children kick off their physical education

Published by SchoolAdvisor | Jul 26, 2023

In a world that has increasingly adopted mobile devices and digital screens in everyday life, the physical health of the younger generation has become more and more neglected. Children today prefer to entertain themselves through YouTube videos and mobile games instead of going to the playground with their friends.

Children require physical stimulation to grow into active and healthy adults.

Christine Stanschus, a young mother from the UK, came face-to-face with this emerging phenomenon firsthand in 2002 when she found a lack of options in her attempt to enrol her son in football lessons.

The young professional took matters into her own hands, leveraging her business know-how as a former investment banker and working alongside football and developmental experts to establish Little Kickers, her very own pre-school football academy.

Today, Little Kickers continues to nurture children’s development which is beneficial both physically and mentally. This influence has spread far over the years, also having found a foothold in local communities here in Malaysia.

We sat down with Prabu Krishnasamy, Chief Sports Director at Little Kickers PJ South, who provided insight into how Little Kickers fosters the next generation of children into becoming healthy and active athletes.

Kicking towards a goal

The emerging phenomenon of ‘iPad kids’ is becoming a serious concern for young parents across Malaysia. Children today spend an excessive amount of time on digital screens, and this has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic which forced families to stay indoors for prolonged periods.

Prabu highlights Little Kickers’ primary goal is providing a proper channel for parents to improve their children’s physical health and kickstart their growth into becoming active teenagers.

“Apart from basic football skills, we also aim to develop and promote children's physical development. We want them to be more confident in their abilities, hone their talents and awareness, build essential motor skills and other physical characteristics.” 

According to Prabu, not having enough movement at a young age is detrimental to a child’s development. 

“Children today spend a lot of time in front of screens on computers, phones and television. When a child is still young, it is important for them to develop their motor skills sufficiently. And sport is one of the best ways to develop those motor skills.”

Little Kickers believes football is one of the best sports to foster an inclusive environment for children to experience learning through teamwork and friendly competition. 

A game of two halves

By engaging in football, kids can develop essential values such as discipline and hard work that will serve them for the rest of their lives. 

However, a common challenge is that children are naturally curious about their surroundings and easily lose interest. That is why Little Kicker’s curriculum is carefully designed to keep children engaged without overwhelming them with too much information. 

According to Prabu (middle), lessons are kept simple and easy to understand while gradually exposing children to the technical aspects of football.

“We explain football concepts using simple words so that even children at a young age can keep up. After all, the last thing children want to do is listen to technical terms – they get bored very quickly. That is also why we keep the sessions 45 minutes long, because anything longer than that, children will eventually get tired and lose interest.”

Little Kickers also takes inspiration from the English Early Years Foundation Stage framework into its football curriculum – incorporating communication, language and physical development into their programmes to nurture growth. Children at Little Kickers are expected to pick up important skills like listening, understanding, speaking, moving, health and self-awareness, and confidence alongside honing their football skills.

It is an open field

Little Kickers segments its classes based on age groups. In ascending order, they are named Little Kicks (aged 18 months to 2 ½ years), Junior Kickers (aged 2 ½ years to 3 ½ years), Mighty Kickers (aged 3 ½ years to 5 years) and Mega Kickers (aged 5 years to 8 years).

At such a young age, children in Little Kicks may not be receptive to instructions provided by coaches. That’s where parents play a crucial role – Little Kickers encourages active parent participation to guide their children through this initial learning period while doubling as important parent-child bonding time.

Those in the Junior Kickers and Mighty Kickers group move on towards fleshing out foundational football skills, such as dribbling and directional kicking. This is also the time when Little Kickers encourage children to play without parental supervision, giving them an opportunity to develop independence and explore the joys of football.

This all culminates in Mega Kickers, where children bring together all the skills learnt into real football matches. There is a focus on fair play, as well as a focus on knowledge, understanding and practical application of the rules of play.

At every level of learning, children are given quarterly badges as a representation of their growth and development, motivating them to continue learning and strive for excellence. Badges are awarded based on key physical, cognitive and football-specific skills taught by the Little Kicker’s programme.

The children of Little Kickers tend to be quite fond of these badges and are always eager to show off their achievements to teammates and family members.

 A team sport

Understanding that children can be fiercely competitive at a young age, Prabu emphasises the importance of creating a positive environment for them to learn the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship.

“We want to give children a positive introduction to sport as a whole, not just football, so they’re more likely to stay healthy and active throughout their lives. That is why we believe in something we call “Play not Push”. It means teaching football in a fun, pressure-free environment.”

Little Kickers strives to foster an interactive and inclusive atmosphere for parents and children alike, where families can come together in the name of physical health. 

If you are interested in what Little Kickers has to offer, the team offers trial classes for you to test whether your child will enjoy their football classes. This way, you can get a better grasp of what the Little Kickers programme entails and how suitable it is for your children before committing to regular sessions.

Little Kickers is also available as an Extra Curricular Activity for schools, nurseries and kindergartens (age 4-8 years old). Little Kickers is currently being offered in the following schools:

For more information, visit and kickstart your child’s physical development today.