Australian kids aren’t getting enough physical activity. They spend far too much time vegging out on the couch watching TV and playing video games.
Participating in sports activities after school helps kids achieve the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. It also provides many other benefits.
The sedentary lifestyle of many Australian kids can have a negative impact on their health. They can become overweight and lack the muscle tone that they need. This is where sports come in. They are a great way to get children moving and help to keep their heart rate up. In addition to this, they can also help improve their mental wellbeing.
Studies show that children who are regularly active tend to have better grades in school. This is because physical activity enhances students’ ability to learn and concentrate. However, the majority of Australia’s kids are not meeting the daily recommended amount of physical activity.
This is why it is important to encourage your child to participate in sports and other activities after school. Although parents may have some concerns about their child’s safety or self-esteem, they should know that physical activity is essential for kids.
A NSW government program called Active Kids allows families to use vouchers to cover the cost of structured physical activity. It has been designed to increase children’s participation in sport and other forms of organised physical activity by reducing the financial barriers to participation. A pragmatic quasi-experimental evaluation has been incorporated into the design of this program, and a series of studies has been conducted to assess the effectiveness of this approach in increasing children’s participation.
Kids have a lot to worry about: from social media and pop culture, to academic pressures and global issues like climate change. As a result, their self-belief can take a beating. Taking part in sport can reduce this stress, allowing children to focus on what’s important and work towards their goals.
The sense of community that sports teams provide can also help children feel supported and understood by a group of people they trust. This is an excellent way to build their confidence, which is often under threat from the negativity of the online world and the demands of everyday life.
When kids get home after school, they may sit down to watch TV and wind down, but this can take a toll on their wellbeing. Instead, encouraging them to join afterschool sports clubs can give them the chance to get exercise in a fun environment, which is better than vegging on the couch until dinnertime.
The research also reveals that a child’s self-esteem can improve by participating in afterschool sport, and this improvement is most apparent amongst children from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is a great way to foster a positive self-image and help them feel more confident and capable, especially as they start high school. With these benefits in mind, it’s easy to see why sports are a good fit for Aussie kids.
Playing sports encourages kids to be less selfish and more empathetic to others. It also helps them learn the skills needed to be good leaders which they can use in their school and work lives later on. Kids who play sport can also develop strong friendships with teammates and people outside of their team which gives them a sense of belonging.
This study used the AusPlay online questionnaire to collect child socio-demographic and social skill data from mothers who enrolled their children in organised sport through the Active Kids program (a state government subsidised voucher scheme). Mothers were asked to complete two surveys, their own highest level of education as a proxy indicator for family socioeconomic position, their child’s sex and date of birth and whether or not they have a disability (these variables were selected as covariates because previous research indicates that child social skills differ between the sexes and improve with age – see Additional File 1).
The survey items referred to a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, including school physical education classes, individual or team sports, recreational swimming, surf lifesaving, brisk walking or running, dance and ‘rough and tumble’ play. Children were only eligible to participate in activities that lasted at least eight weeks. As such, the sample reflects a bias towards a healthier more active population, with under-representation of children living in socio-economically disadvantaged areas and older adolescents casually participating in sport at the time of registration.
A Good Support System
Aside from physical benefits, sports activities can also improve a child’s mental wellbeing. Exercise releases natural chemicals like serotonin and dopamine that improve a child’s mood and help them feel more relaxed. This is especially beneficial for children who are stressed out from academic pressures, because playing sports can alleviate their stress levels and provide them with a positive distraction.
Furthermore, participating in sporting activities teaches children how to deal with issues like competition that they will encounter throughout their academic and professional lives. By encouraging their teammates to give their best effort during friendly competition, children learn how to work together as a team and become resilient to setbacks.
It’s also a great way to make new friends with kids from different suburbs, backgrounds and cultures. They will learn to accept other people’s strengths and weaknesses and develop friendships for a lifetime.
If you’re thinking about sending your child to tennis lessons Newcastle, then it’s a good idea to look for one that is specialised in your child’s age group and focus area. This will ensure that they’ll get the most out of their tennis lessons and will have the best chance of becoming a well-rounded athlete in the future. Also, you should try to encourage them to participate in a variety of sports so that they’re not only improving their skills but staying healthy too.