Thursday, 30 August 2018

Encouraging Children to Give Sport a Try

CN: Talk of exercise, healthy eating and children's health.

As a parent I imagine you want to teach your children the importance of living well balanced lives - enjoying a range of activities as well as the importance of being active. While some youngsters need little persuasion to run around after a ball, others quite simply are not bothered by the prospect of competition - and that’s okay.

Sport isn’t for everyone, however, being active comes in many shapes and sizes, so there should hopefully be something for everyone! Children do not have to compete against one and other to play sport, instead of participating purely for the fun of it. No one is saying that any young child who kicks a ball has to dream about being the next Lionel Messi or Harry Kane.

Various Games

There are numerous games that children can play with friends in the playground or at a club. Football is, of course, the most popular sport in the United Kingdom, but there is so much more open to children, such as; tennis, basketball, cricket, rugby, badminton, volleyball, squash, rounders and more.

To young children, it wouldn’t be surprising if they hadn’t heard of some of those sports simply because they aren’t given the same amount of coverage as others. They might just find that they enjoy playing a game that perhaps isn’t as popular in the mainstream.

Where Can Children Try Different Sports?

In most local communities, there will be at least one or two sports clubs that offer classes for different sports. This could be at a purposely built venue or a community centre, such as Balham Leisure Centre in Clapham. It is certainly worth doing your research on local clubs in the area, especially if you are keen for your little one(s) to get active.

On social media, community pages are a great place to begin with many grassroots coaches and clubs using sites such as Facebook as a means of promotion. Also, parents in the community who may also be keen to get others involved in a club that their children are a part of. After all, in 2018, Facebook has turned into the online and interactive notice board that we would all peruse in the local shop 10 years ago.

Play as a Family

Finding somewhere for your children to play sport is one thing, but playing as a family can really be the difference between trying a game and it becoming ingrained in your lifestyle. If your children see you enjoying playing the game with them, they are more likely to enjoy playing it, too. One of the most important messages for me to share is that being active comes at all levels and abilities, so teach children that even if your abilities are seemingly less than others, that is okay! 

Making sport, and just being active, part of your family’s normal routine is good practice and it also makes for a fantastic bonding opportunity between child and parent.

When they grow into teenagers, chances are they won’t want to hit or kick a ball around with mum or dad as much!

What fun family activities would you suggest for keeping active?


*collaborative post

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