Mario Penwarden,
Senior Contributor

Mario Penwarden is a South African-based expert in the fields of early childhood development and physical education.

In his school years, he excelled in multiple sports and this guided his later studies in sport management and coaching. During his studies, he developed a keen interest and passion for early childhood development, as he identified this phase as being vital in determining long-term athlete development and also skills development in young athletes.

He specialized in Kinderkinetics and completed a 2-year internship at one of the first early childhood development centers in the Western Cape, South Africa. After his internship he started his practice working for 6 years as an early childhood development expert and offering remedial therapy to children suffering from developmental disorders, learning disorders, general development needs, and also offering sport-specific development.

During this time he realized that there was a massive need for a more specialized form of physical education at schools and started developing the Kinetix physical education resource. He developed a highly successful preschool program for 3-6-year-olds before he shifted his attention to primary school level and developing a curriculum-based physical education program for grade 1 to grade 7.

Since 2012 his programs have been rolled out nationally in South Africa to almost 80 schools. In 2019 he developed a complete physical education curriculum for the Spark Schools group, which is an independent schools group with 17 schools across the country.

He is also involved with several NGOs where the Kinetix program is being rolled out at schools from rural and previously disadvantaged communities.

His specialized knowledge in early childhood development combined with his experience in sport and coaching as well as his passion for development gives him an exciting and at times unique outlook on physical education and development.