Fundamental Motor Skill Proficiency of 6- to 9-Year-Old Singaporean Children

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Abstract

Fundamental movement proficiency (FMS) is most successfully acquired during early school years. This cross-sectional study assessed FMS proficiency in Singaporean children at the start of and following 2.5 years of primary school physical education (PE). Participants were 244 children from Primary 1 and 3 levels. Fundamental movement skills (FMS) were assessed with the Test of Gross Motor Development–Second Edition (TGMD-2) that includes locomotor (LOCO) and object control (OC) subtests. Most children were rated “average” and “below average” for LOCO skills but “poor” and “below average” for OC skills without significant gender differences on either subtest or overall FMS proficiency and without FMS mastery. These young Singaporean children failed to exhibit age-appropriate FMS proficiency despite early PE exposure, and they demonstrated lags in FMS compared with the TGMD-2 U.S. normative sample. We discuss implications for sports competence perception, difficulty in coping with later movement learning expectations and reduced later motivation to participate in PE and play. We also discuss implications for preschool and lower primary school PE curricula with a particular focus on both OC skills and LOCO skills requiring muscular fitness like hopping and jumping.

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