Being fit and healthy is essential to all humans and nationally there is concern that children are not as physically active as previous generations. Being involved in sport or a physical activity is a great way to encourage a healthy lifestyle. In addition, through sports we can develop our self-esteem, a sense of achievement and respect for others. It also teaches us to adhere to rules and develops an understanding of fair play. Sport is something families can participate in together, whether it is as athletes or spectators.
Your child’s learning across the curriculum can also be developed through sports. Listening and communication skills are developed not just by participation in a sport but also through discussion. Encourage your child to explain their viewpoint objectively and to accept that others’ views may differ. Reading skills can be developed by sports reports, sport themed books or biographies. Encouraging your child to write their own sports report or create a fact file of a chosen athlete will develop their non-fiction writing skills.
Observing and recording results or sport statistics develops both maths and science skills. For example, drawing bar graphs of gold medals won at the Olympics or recording their own times and those of other family members lapping the garden. Working out what time it will be when the match finishes or measuring how far they can jump.
Through sport, your child can learn about the world and different cultures, for example, where is Pyeongchang? What is the time difference there? What was the average snowfall during the Olympics?
Children can also be inspired by sports. Sports can provide positive mentors and role models. These people inspire us all not only with their achievements but also with their skills and determination to overcome any difficulties and to improve. Unfortunately, there are also negative role models in sports but children may learn from these too, for example, it is not acceptable to verbally abuse another player or to cheat. The following observation by John Wooden perhaps explains what we can learn from our role models, and about ourselves from sports - "Sports do not build character. They reveal it!"