Kids have varying responses to their PE and sports lessons. Some love them, others groan and beg for a letter to be excused on the flimsiest of excuses. Why does the school curriculum demand that even the un-sportiest child must take part?
There are many reasons why physical activity is good – these are just a few:
Physical activity at school ensures kids get enough exercise
In the ‘good old days’ children were sent out to play and it was common to see children playing together either in the street, a nearby park or disappearing into the countryside, returning only when they got hungry.
Today’s world is different. Parents are nervous about sending young children out on their own, there’s more traffic, so street play isn’t practical in most cases and most kids are more interested in playing on a digital device than going outside.
Exercising the body, even for young kids, ensures they stay fitter and that helps their immune system too.
Exercise is good for the body – and for the brain.
Many children today don’t get anywhere near as much exercise as their parents or grandparents. It’s been scientifically proven that physical activity actually improves mental performance. So doing some form of exercise will help their academic results – and help them to be sharper and make better decisions.
Kids learn about teamwork
Most school sports lessons include team sports. Whether it’s football, rugby, netball, hockey, softball or basketball, it teaches the children how to work with others and the importance of having people around you that you can depend on. This is one of the essential life skills.
It reveals the sports stars of tomorrow
Most of today’s high achievers in sport started out discovering an aptitude and love of their particular discipline at school.
Even children who aren’t the top achievers often discover a sport that becomes a lifelong love for them; one that they participate in well into adulthood.
It teaches children about risk
There’s no doubt that there are risks in most physical activities – and one of the complaints levelled at the education industry by employers is that children can come out of education with little concept of risk assessment.
We’re not talking about carrying out a formal risk assessment, but simply an awareness of ‘if I do this, I might injure myself (or someone else) if I’m not careful and think about what might happen if I do/don’t …’ Playing sports and using gym equipment engenders an awareness of the potential dangers and encourages kids to take notice, use equipment properly and be conscious of how their actions impact on others.
Encourage your kids to take part in their school PE and sports activity – they may not thank you for it, but you’ll know that it’s likely to have a positive outcome.