Children from Kooloora Preschool – Toukley Public School are celebrating after a visit from the Central Coast Mariners as part of an initiative to get kids active.

The full first team squad dropped in to give out prizes and take part in outdoor games with the children.

The visit capped off this year’s Move like a Mariner program, which aims to teach fundamental movement skills to children aged three to five years old.

The six-week program sees early childhood education and care services on the Coast provided with resources to teach these skills through a series of fun and simple games.

Twenty-eight early childhood education and care services took part in the program this year, resulting in 1,650 children being taught to move like their favourite Mariners players.

Move like a Mariner is a joint initiative between Central Coast Local Health District’s Health Promotion Service and Central Coast Mariners, and is funded by Dairy Farmers.

All centres who take part in the program receive a goodie bag and certificate, with Kooloora Preschool winning a team visit.

Sharon Buck, Assistant Principal at Kooloora Preschool – Toukley Public School, said the kids were excited to welcome the players.

“It was fantastic to have the Mariners team with us for the afternoon and doing some of the activities the children were engaged with throughout the Move like a Mariner program. Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces as they got to play with the players was a real joy,” Sharon said.

“The children have really loved this program. We looked forward to the games each week and even posted them on our digital platform for families to practice at home with their children.”

Dan Hall, defender for the Central Coast Mariners, shared his enthusiasm for the program.

“It’s cool to see kids so excited about getting active and playing games. It is really rewarding to know that, as a footballer, you can make a positive impact on the health of the next generation,” Dan said.

The Move like a Mariner program has provided sporting equipment and teaching resources to more than 100 early childhood services, reaching in excess of 5,500 children across the Central Coast.

It is delivered in parallel with the NSW Health Munch & Move initiative that promotes the importance of healthy eating and physical activity for young children.

Liesl Greenwood, Health Promotion Officer at Central Coast Local Health District, said the program is understandably popular.

“Move like a Mariner has become such a popular fixture under the Munch & Move banner with both children and educators alike, and it’s not hard to see why,” Liesl said.

“It’s a really fun and engaging way for the kids to learn vital movement skills that get them active and into healthy habits early in their development.

“This year we introduced additional online resources for centres with videos of Mariners players demonstrating some of the games, which helped drive further engagement with the program.

“We’ve had some fantastic feedback from centres who took part, many of whom have said they continue to play the games even after the program has concluded.”

Early childhood services who would like to take part in next year’s Move like a Mariner program can register their interest by emailing