Encouraging fun and participation in sport
Friday, November 30, 2018
Written by Melissa Gordon, Rangatahi Regional School Director
Here in the Central Bay of Plenty, children have a variety of sports and physical activity options available to them to keep them healthy and active, whether it be with their families and friends, with a club or within their schools.
Usually the primary and intermediate school environment is the first structured opportunity young people have to participate in a variety of sports. Our vision is to nurture an equitable and inclusive environment for children to build a lifelong love of sport and physical activity through positive and meaningful experiences.
A group of 10-12yr olds were questioned about why they played sport and the top five reasons they gave:
- To have fun.
- To do something I’m good at.
- To improve my skills.
- To stay in shape.
- To get exercise.
Surprisingly “winning” didn’t even make the top ten reasons.
Study after study comes up with the same #1 result. Kids play sport for the fun of it. And not having fun is one of the major reasons 70 per cent of kids quit playing sport by the time they’re 13. Most often it’s parents and coaches who want to win. Kids hardly care. For them, winning is just icing on the cake.
Even at high school level, most kids would rather play on a losing team than sit on the bench of a winning one. That doesn’t mean that kids don’t value winning, just that they prefer playing.
If you want your children to play sports, all you have to do is make sure they are having fun!
Sport Bay of Plenty supports this message and recently worked closely with Regional Sports Organisations to promote Lead the Cheer - a campaign that aims to promote the fun of sport and encourage positive sideline behaviour.
We encourage you, no matter what your involvement in sport, to take the four pledge points and Lead the Cheer:
Sport Bay of Plenty is also working with Regional Sports Organisation and local sports clubs to provide a comprehensive school sport calendar to assist with increasing the participation level of all Primary and Intermediate school students in sport.
Currently the calendar has 41 events ranging from your more traditional sports like swimming, cross country, and athletics events to golf, tennis, badminton, squash, rugby sevens and cricket. There are also a variety of events aimed at beginners and those that don’t normally participate in competitive sport, like the Top School event and Amazing Race, which are about team building and having fun, or Orienteering where children work on their timekeeping and map reading skills, or the famous Rotorua Mini Marathon which gives school children the chance to experience what it’s like to take part in a marathon by running the last two kilometres on the actual Rotorua Marathon Course.
So there is definitely something for everyone and we encourage schools to promote what is coming up to all children to give them a chance to participate.
To see what events are coming up on the Central Bay School Sport Calendar visit our What's On calendar:
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