Sport has an important role to play in human development. In fact, it is fundamental to our early years and the skills that we pick up through sport and physical exercise can lay a positive foundation for the way we live, learn and behave later in life. Physical education and sport can also create change where children are stuck or struggling physically and is a key tool in helping to build confidence.
Where does sport impact the most?
We all want our children to grow up as healthy, happy and well-rounded individuals – encouraging them to play sport and get involved in physical activity has a big impact here. In particular, children can start to learn about and embed some important values as a result of their participation in sports. This includes honesty and working as part of a team. They may also begin to explore and understand the notion of fair play. Plus, sport can help children learn how to process rules and work within them where necessary and to develop their own sense of self-respect, as well as respect for others.
Coping with the ups and downs of life
Winning and losing are all part of life and something that children are confronted with early on in sport. Being able to handle competition, how this feels and learning to cope with the various outcomes that can be involved is essential for the social development of young people, as well as when it comes to embedding resilience. There is also a lot of evidence that points to the positive impact of sport and physical activity on mental health in people across the spectrum. Plus, the physical effects of sport and physical activity can help to contribute to healthy physical development in children of all ages.
Establishing firm foundations
Getting teenagers and children involved in sport from an early age can establish a pattern of participation in physical activity that continues throughout a lifetime. This goes way beyond development needs in childhood and helps to provide a firm foundation for health in adult life. Sports programmes that focus on both technical sport skills and the development of an individual within the sport are likely to have the most impact over the longer term.
More than just physical
Sports based programmes can also have a very positive impact on learning, encouraging improved attendance levels and supporting greater motivation to succeed academically and in other areas. For example, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), uses these types of programmes to encourage young people, particularly girls and young women, to attend school within refugee camps. Sport can be used to emphasise educational messages and to help children and teenagers understand the importance of showing up and taking part.
Sport is a key part of development for children and teenagers, not just in terms of physical strength and growth but also in many other aspects of becoming a secure and well-rounded adult.
Playtop outdoor safety flooring is essential to keeping future generations happy and healthy.