Learn vital skills when you play sport

Why sport is important

We all know the health benefits of sport, with positives far outweighing the negatives.

Just some reasons include fitness, socialising, fun, stress relief, muscular strength and endurance, reduced blood pressure and better weight management.

More reasons to get off the couch include improved joint flexibility, lower risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, deeper sleep, stronger immune system, lower risk of certain cancers and better cholesterol control.

Mentally sport improves your mood and concentration, boosts your self confidence and can reduce depression and anxiety.

Wellbeing: It's satisfying for parents to know that their kids are getting fit instead of just playing electronic games or watching television. Photos: Shutterstock

Wellbeing: It's satisfying for parents to know that their kids are getting fit instead of just playing electronic games or watching television. Photos: Shutterstock

For children, the benefits of sport are even greater. Start them young for a healthy life.

The Report from the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Sport for Development and Peace states that young people can benefit from physical activity as it contributes to developing healthy bones, efficient heart and lung function as well as improved motor skills and cognitive function.

Children learn vital skills when they play sport, particularly in a team for a club.

"When you play a team sport you learn that it doesn't just come down to the best player," said Ross Morrison, a sports expert with the NSW Department of Education and Communities.

"It comes down to working as a team, accepting decisions and understanding that people have different abilities.

"Kids learn that things aren't going to go their way all the time, and that they need to respect their peers as well as referees and sports officials.

"Society puts a lot of pressure on kids to be more academic but there is evidence to suggest that physical activity might increase numeracy and literacy.

"It's like that old adage, 'a healthy body, a healthy mind'."

Sport for kids:

  • Provides personal values
  • Less likely to feel isolated
  • Encourages parents to become active with their kids
  • Can help youngsters overcome shyness
  • Friendship and camaraderie
  • Cooperation and teamwork skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Appreciation of different abilities
  • A sense of belonging/team membership
  • Social interaction skills
  • Physical skills
  • Self-esteem and self concept
  • Goal-setting skills
  • Self-discipline, patience and persistence
  • Resilience - deal with losing as well as winning

If you want your children to grow up to be confident and well-adjusted adults, then enrolling them in a sports club may well be the answer.

The benefits extend to later life. "Physical activity can help to prevent hip fractures among women and reduce the effects of osteoporosis," a GP said.

"Also remaining physically active can enhance functional capacity among older people, and can help to maintain quality of life and independence."

Source: schoolatoz.nsw.edu.au/wellbeing/fitness/benefits-of-team-sports

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