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ActiveVoice: Getting kids in sport for life

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

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It is a known fact that sport features in many aspects of Kiwis’ lives and, with children, organised sport can help them grow by supporting them to develop a range of skills.

Some of these skills include communication, problem solving and leadership. It also gives them values such as resilience, independence, commitment, honesty and humility.

Kiwi kids love sport and starting young will ensure they develop a lifelong habit of being involved and active. Typically children are introduced to sports through family members, either supporting or participating in club sports, or within the school system. These initial introductions can have a wonderful first impression on children as they develop their skills and build their self-esteem.

Sport offers many benefits to children and adults alike, including reduced risk of obesity, increased cardiovascular fitness, improved sleeping patterns, coordination, balance and mental thinking – all reducing the risk of complications from possible health issues.

Another great attribute that sport has is it empowers us to channel our competitive and aggressive energy into positive energy, enabling a healthy release of pressure. It is widely known that being physically active enhances learning and suggests that children are able to learn more effectively and concentrate better in the classroom.

While training for sport helps develop skill levels and game tactics, the art of balance and coordination begin at a very early age. Without these fundamental movement skills, it would be very difficult to participate in any activity, let alone play a chosen sport.

Fundamentals should not be undervalued when it comes to encouraging children to participate in sport, as these are an integral part of the physical development of youngsters.

Ultimately, fundamental skills provide the platform for allowing our youth to participate physically in any type of recreational activity. This is where they start their journey to developing a lifelong love of sport.

Give them quality experiences. Empower them to think for themselves. Guide them to be humble winners and gracious losers. Lead by example. These kids will grow to be great contributors to our communities. Kids in sport for life are the kids that will have experienced these positive connections.

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