We all know sport and exercise are SO important for kids in so many ways. The evidence for improved performance at school, improved lifelong health, and many other positive outcomes is now extensive. And we instinctively, on a day-to-day basis, just know it’s important for them. How many times have energetic, noisy, dare I say difficult (!) youngsters turned back into a peaceful little angel at the end of a good day’s running around and exercising?
Exercise through play is what we all want for our kids, but the days of chucking them out the back door for the day to climb trees, build camps, swim in the river, etc., are long gone and unattainable for most of us in today’s world. Well run Sports Clubs use a structured form of play that incorporate the skills and disciplines of the particular sport chosen, whilst allowing room for creativity and free thinking on the part of the kids. And without knowing it the kids are gaining skills that open the door to potential high attainment within that sport, as well as learning some of the movement and interpersonal skills that will give them the best chances to fulfill their potential in life.
Ideally kids should experience a combination of different sports clubs from the earliest possible age to develop different types of movement and control skills, as well as interacting with a wider variety of teachers and teams. So often children will form a sudden bond with a sport that connects with them at that moment and ignites a passion that makes our jobs as parents that much easier. And often that passion can stay with them for life.
Here’s my 10 year old son’s take on a Summer Sports Camp he’s been enjoying in South West London for the last 4 years…
Passport to Leisure, by Jake Berners-Price
This Summer holiday I went to a brilliant Camp called Passport to Leisure. You do an incredible selection of sports such as: Football, Rugby, Swimming, Kaiaking, Tennis, Beach Volleyball, Rounders, Archery, Bench Ball, capture the Flag. Also, indoor activities – Pool, Table-tennis, Table Football and so on. In addition, you get put into softball teams ( team 1,2,3,4) and play a tournament throughout the week. Whichever team wins gets a prize.
As well as getting better at sports you also build up team playing skills. You play as a team, you win as a team, you also lose as a team. But losing just makes you better and makes you determined to win next time! At the end of the week there is also a BBQ and if you have played your heart out then you may also win a prize.
It is quite a lot of money (I saved up to pay for some of it) but it is worth it as you will certainly leave better at something, and will have a great time!
Here’s a link to the camp that Jake does in South West London – http://www.passporttoleisure.co.uk/
Many Councils offer a similar camp in the summer as well.