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This entry was posted on April 29, 2016.
Kids today have more and more reasons to stay indoors, so it is not surprising that a quarter of our kids aged 5-17 are overweight or even obese.
Sports days are a great way to get kids engaged and active. Kids are a little too young to worry about the benefits of being active, they just know that once they are outside it’s fun. It’s important that adults focus on how much fun being active can be. Encouraging a culture of exercise will have long-term benefits for our kids and our country and it’s important we get kids out of the house and out on field at an early age.
Here are some ways parents, schools and teams can prepare for sports day!
Most kids are naturally competitive and team sports enhance and sharpen this instinct. Being part of a team also develops interpersonal skills that will serve kids well long after they are done with competitive sports.
Captains and coaches can boost interest in their sport and keep kids intrigued by preparing them for sports day with specific training sessions geared at increasing their stamina and skill. For example, encouraging kids to prepare for sports day races like the 100 metres before moving on to playing the sport they’ve signed up for builds excitement. The competitive element it allows gives kids a chance to look forward to exercising and to prepare for sports day by practising ahead of time.
Sports are not only a great way to keep students active, but they serve as a reward, too, giving students something to look forward to besides the usual school work.
The school benefits, too. Regular physical activity has been shown to boost children’s memory and mood ahead of sitting down to learn for the rest of the day. This makes for calmer kids and teachers. Some teachers have found a correlation between at-risk students who take up a sport and regular school attendance.
Ahead of sports day, schools can put kids into groups to enhance a culture of healthy competition to increase interest in physical activity. Purchasing Handband wristbands for each team, for example, is an inexpensive way to reinforce solidarity and encourage teamwork, which is a vital skill for kids and teens. These silicon wristbands are even customisable, so you could pique the interest of non-sporty students by organising a design competition for each group. The winner, as well as the runners-up, will feel like they’re more included after taking part in a contest focused on adding a personal touch to these ID wristbands.
Habits, both good and bad, start at a young age, so interest in sports naturally starts at home. Kids who are active from an early age get in the habit of setting time aside for playtime outside and learn how to balance indoor and outdoor activities.
This takes discipline at first because it is important to hide the technology and get them outside in the sunshine and fresh air. When they are very young simply going out to play with a neighbor’s kids is sufficient. As they grow their interests will evolve and they will start playing the games and sports that interest them. From there it is usually a simple matter to foster a kid’s interest with encouragement and support. Eventually, it might come time to enroll your child in a structured sports program.
Regular physical activity ensures kids build and maintain strong muscles, bones and joints, keeping them in their best condition and setting them up for a lifetime of fitness. Kids who exercise also have greater self-esteem, so your child is guaranteed to be happier as well as healthier.
All in all, from sports teams to sports day to hiding the technology, it is important to ensure exercise is introduced into any child's everyday activity. By introducing exercise, especially in the earlier stages of life can help promote healthy personal development - a vital stepping-stones to adulthood.