Youth participation in sport in Australia
Only six out of 10 Australian kids aged between five and 14 play sport outside of school. Getting your kids involved in sport will help them to develop important skills that will last a lifetime, not to mention also providing them with incredible health benefits.
Here are some key benefits to getting your children involved in sport:
Making new friends
Sports are a great way to meet people from a range of backgrounds that your children may not have met otherwise. Kids will learn to cooperate as a team, develop stronger leadership abilities as well as learn how to win and lose graciously.
Working towards a goal, improving coordination and balance and putting their skills to the test will build confidence in young people over time. Parents and coaches can assist in this process by using motivating and supportive communication.
Healthier heart and lungs
Regular exercise improves heart performance, lung capacity and overall health. This can lead to reduced risk of many diseases including heart disease, which is the leading underlying cause of death in Australia.
Development of stronger muscles and bones from playing sports will also lead to reduced risk of injury and osteoporosis.
Physical activity is beneficial for mental health as it releases endorphins and reduces stress hormones, resulting in improved mood and better sleep. It's also great for kids to get some fresh air and sunlight, which can help them feel more calm and focused.
Reduced risk of obesity
Playing sport promotes a healthy lifestyle and increases total energy expenditure, which helps to control body weight. It has been shown that teens who play on at least three sports teams are up to 39% less likely to be obese. Active kids are also more likely to be active as adults.
Little Rookie Sport is committed to supporting local sporting clubs for juniors, which are a great way for kids to get active. Find out how to get involved with our 'My Local Club' initiative here.