It is only a matter of time before we begin to unlock again from a national lockdown, as we do the UK Government have made it pretty clear that schooling is to be one of the very first things to return. This is widely believed to be due to the massive disruption that education has faced over the past two years.
There have been some suggestions that a summer catch up provision should be put in place. However, as some people have highlighted this should include physical education and activity for our young people.
My name is Coach Danny and I’m going to be looking at five reasons why a summer of sport is a must for children.
Video calling services have been a fantastic tool for children to continue their education and interact with classmates and friends. Despite its successes, it is not a like for like replacement for in-person social contact. There’s only so much body language that can be captured and received during a video call. The stimuli of an in-person conversation cannot be replaced.
For me, social skills in sport are so undervalued. Our children need to be exposed to as many social interactions as possible to help develop their social skills. There is no better place to do this than in sport. Children in team sports need to be able to understand and support their teammates and coaches. The old cliche that a team is like a well-oiled machine and if a cog (child) in the machine (team) isn’t as effective, then the machine (team) won’t be as effective as it can be or in some cases not even work at all.
(2) Physical Literacy
As a coach that has worked with people across all age ranges, I can appreciate the importance of physical literacy, especially at a young age, as it gives children that confidence to try something new or broaden their skills.
As a coach of a U16 boys football team, I’m fully aware that some children have done less physical activity during the lockdown, whilst others haven’t stopped at all. I think this may result in a noticeable gap in physical capabilities when we unlock, as it will be noticeable who has been working and who hasn’t. The same can be applied to the younger ages, remember physical literacy is about building up that experience, a child needs practice to explore their bodies capabilities and perfect their technique, this takes time.
A summer of sport could be a great opportunity to close this gap, that would certainly widen further if our summer is spent apart.
There should also be a focus on children being consistent with physical activity and being given the opportunities to practise those all-important fundamental movement skills.
Our On-Demand Physical Education Sessions can be a great tool to help children play catch up’ over the summer.
(3) Summer blues & boredom
Six weeks of holiday seems so long especially off the back of national lockdown, where all the endless days blend into one. That being said it flies by in a flash if you sprinkle some physical activity in there.
There are loads of courses and clubs that children can attend. We also have a lot of free resources, activity ideas for parents to use with children to ensure children keep up or maybe even create physical activity routines. Check out our youtube channel and social channels @sportyminis
(4) Mental Wellbeing
It has been well reported that the lockdowns have taken their toll on not just the mentality of the nation, but that of our young people.
Sport & physical activity opportunities offer us all an outlet to increase our fitness levels, improve our emotional well being and most importantly ensure our boost confidence in the activities we participate in.
We look forward to re-starting our family fitness sessions, our multi-skills, dance football and rugby sessions this Summer er.
(5) To get away from the screens
As mentioned previously, video calling technology has certainly helped us during this time, allowing children to learn from their own homes.
After almost a year of reliance on video calls, it’s time to get away from the screens. This is going to be incredibly hard for our young people who have spent such a large portion of the past few years intensely relying on these wonderful devices to be able to learn, play and socialise virtually.
All of these are great, but children miss out on the physical aspect. Sport can solve this. Sport is a platform for them to learn, play and socialise physically.
Play is the one I would really like to highlight. You cannot be a football player, a netball player or a tennis player without the ‘play’.
Sport is play.
To be able to play, children need to love being physically active and also have the key fundamental movement skills that give them confidence in their chosen sport or physical activity.
I hope this post will help you encourage your young people to pursue a much-needed summer of sport.
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