It’s a fact: Canadian kids are not getting enough exercise. While many organizations are trying to spread the word, and government policies at every level from your local school board to Health Canada are focusing on trying to get kids involved in more active play, recent surveys still give Canadian children a relatively low grade when it comes to living active lifestyles. Some children are highly motivated when it comes to being active, but for others, the lure of television and video games is much more appealing.
Many children, however, watch and idolize sports stars on TV. Maybe they follow the Toronto Maple Leafs religiously or they sit down on Sunday afternoon to watch the football game with you. Maybe they love playing sports video games! Other children are disinterested when it comes to sports, and motivating them to be active can be difficult for parents. No matter which camp your child falls into, there are ways you can get them interested in sports!
Is It a Good Idea to Get Kids Involved in Sports?
Some people don’t think it’s a good idea to get children involved in sports. Some talk about the supposed dangers of putting kids in competitive situations at a young age and others worry about potential injuries, particularly with games like contact football. Still others will say there’s often a “bad atmosphere” around sports activities (which can sometimes caused by the parents involved!).
Most of these concerns can be alleviated, as long as you pick the right activity for your child. Sports camps are a particularly good way of addressing most of these concerns. Excellent coaches, instructors, and support staff can promote a fun and safe environment for kids where teamwork is emphasized. Non-contact alternatives, such as flag football, can alleviate concerns about sports-related injuries.
Why Sports Are Good for Kids
There are many good reasons to get your child interested in sports as there is plenty of research showing just how beneficial sports participation is for children.
First and foremost, sports get kids up and moving! Participating in sports at a young age can build a lifelong habit of staying fit. As concerns about obesity and related medical conditions arise, getting kids committing to healthy lifestyles at a young age is a great move.
Sports are important for other reasons too. Some people think of them as “fun and games” but as fun as sports are, they also teach children fundamental movement skills and develop physical literacy. For example, hand-eye coordination is one of the many skills your child can learn at sports camps. In addition, social skills, such as teamwork and leadership, are also key sports skills and are taught at sports camps.
Why a Sports Camp?
A sports camp is a great compliment to the PE classes your child already participates in at school. At sports camps, children can either choose their preferred sport and focus on developing the skills for that activity or participate in a multi-sport program where they get to try out a variety of different sports. Whether they are passionate about a particular sport or want to learn some fundamental skills in a new sport, there are programs available for everyone.
The other great thing about sports camps is children can meet other campers and coaches who are already passionate about sports. They’ll form new connections and friendships, which in turn can inspire their own passion for sports!
Many sports camps offer year-round activities for children, making it easier for you to beat the winter blahs and keep your child playing. A summer camp may give your child an intensive dose of their new favourite activity, while clinics in the fall and winter can keep the fun going year-round.
With a little help from your local sports camp, you can get your child interested in sports and help them spark a lifelong passion.