I’m writing this on the day that yet another report on lack of activity amongst children hits the headlines. This one features in the BMJ. It’s the 4th major report this year. The message they all carry is alarming. Nike present the concern wonderfully well in this video that was part of a report they commissioned on children’s activity levels.
These reports always prompt debate about the ‘solution’ and this is where the discourse appears misguided. The debate is framed in adult language – kids need EXERCISE because it’s GOOD FOR THEM. These medicinal messages are difficult to ‘sell’ to kids (and adults – look at the drop off in gym attendance once the new year resolutions have worn off in February). Kids sport and activity needs to be about the quality of the here and now. Children need to develop physical competency in an entirely positive environment. These competencies are key as they prevent what is referred to as the ‘proficiency barrier’. Not many of us engage with activities that we don’t feel that we are ‘good’ at so just ask yourself, ‘if my kid doesn’t catch very well, how many activities will s/he not engage with as they get older?’ At mi sport, we’ve been pushing this message since 2004. It’s finally catching on and has recently been summed up beautifully in this video from Sport Wales.
So this Christmas, give your kids the gift of activity. Details of our mi sport Christmas and New Year camp can be found here.