13 Jan Children participating in sport
Most parents recognize the benefit of their child getting involved in sport but choosing the right sport is important. All sports require commitment, whether it is weekend netball training, watching rugby drill videos or running around a football pitch after school. This is why choosing the right sport is important. Participation should encourage children and young people to continue their interest in adulthood, creating the sporting generation of the future.
In 2014 Sport England published a report about the challenges of encouraging youth participation in sport. There are various reasons why young people in the 14-25 age bracket do not participate as much in sport, but all types of sports need to work hard to tear young people away from their computers and technology and get them outside and active. It is important that children are encouraged to try the sport at a young age and this could be after school, within the school, or at the weekend. Whatever your child is interested in, then you owe it to them to also take an interest and encourage their continued involvement.
When it comes to deciding which sport to take part in, this is best done in conjunction with the child. No child is going to thank you for forcing them to take part in a sport they are either not very good at or have no interest in. Many schools have after school clubs for activities such as martial arts and gymnastics, while local rugby and football clubs often have junior or mini sections where children can get involved at a young age. Such is the importance of these sorts of clubs in local communities that England Rugby has offered grants to local rugby clubs to try and grow participation in the game as part of the legacy of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Whatever sport your child decides to do, it is important to ensure that the coaching team is qualified and offering good training sessions with successful outcomes. This could come from using a system such as that offered by simply having a good training plan that is age and sport appropriate.
Hopefully, this has shown the benefits of participating in sport and encouraged you to get your child to give the sport a try. You never know, they might just like it!