We’ve heard all the public service messages, we know how sports can impact a child’s live and how we need to get children (I’d suggest all of us) up and moving more.
As a parent I wholeheartedly agree that having your child participate in sports is to their benefit. In fact, I’m the host of a monthly podcast in partnership with inMotion Sask and Saskatchewan Blue Cross called Mom2Mom. We cover all topics that relate to children and activity – whether it’s children walking to school, getting outside more in the winter, or active family vacations for example.
My husband and I don’t have any of our three children enrolled in any competitive or ‘professional’ sports at this point – we don’t travel to other cities or attend huge events to compete. Rather, we’re the seasonal sport family – our rule is that each of the kids must participate in at least one sport per season. The choice is up to them, and this allows them to sample a variety of sports and decide to further train in something that interests them. So far, we don’t have any long term sports among our kids with the exception of our son, at thirteen, entering in his third year of flag football and tackle football.
Beyond that, our kids have dabbled in a little bit of everything: baseball, gymnastics, soccer, parkour, we’ve tried it all! Swimming lessons are a must, and they make an excellent choice in the winter months when choices are more limited. The summer months give us some time to try some sports-themed summer camps, which we call Sports Sampling on the Mom2Mom Podcast. I like this because it allows kids to try out a new sport for a week or so, before determining if they want to sign up for the long-term option in the fall. Locally, the Regina Diving Club has interested in 9 year old, but it’s a full school-year commitment, so I thought a summer camp was a great way to – yes I’m going to say it – dive in for a week and try it out.
Beyond the obvious physical benefits of having our children in sports, it also helps your children in many other ways including:
Healthy Habits: Studies have shown that teens who participate in sports are less likely to smoke, do drugs or consume alcohol. I’d also suggest that having your kids in sports keeps them busy and fills some of the free time that could lead to boredom and, let’s face it, risk-taking behavior in teens.
Self-Discipline: Beyond learning the rules and techniques of a new sport, it also teaches children how to work towards goals.
Teamwork and Social Skills: Team sports help teach children how to work together, despite differences in ability and ideas, all towards a common goal.
Improved Mental Health: In an era of excessive focus on appearance, sports also provide an outlet for children, especially girls, to focus not on what their bodies look like but on what they can do.
If you have an active child in your family, a reminder that the 2nd annual Team UA NEXT Canada Powered by Sport Chek campaign to find the NEXT generation of Under Armour athletes is happening right now! Seven to 12-year-old hard-working athletes are eligible to compete to become the face of Under Armour in a brand campaign at Sport Chek stores across Canada.
The 2 winners, 1 boy and 1 girl will join the elite roster of Under Armour athletes and serve as a youth ambassador for the brand. In addition to being featured in the brand campaign, winners will receive exclusive access to Under Armour gear!
Time to grab your smart phone and video camera! Parents, guardians, mentors and coaches have until August 31, 2017 to nominate a young athlete online at TeamUAnext.ca. Entrants must submit videos throughout the summer showing their passion and athleticism to make a compelling case for why they should the next Under Armour athlete.