There are many important skills and lessons that can be acquired through participating in sport, especially for children. The more obvious benefits, such as physical health, are well documented however, recently there has been an increase in attention given to the social and personal skills that sport helps develop.
In a recent report published in early 2020, the UK Chief Medical Officer alluded to these benefits that school PE, and community sports clubs play in helping children from all walks of life develop key inter-personal skills and experience. This report was of course released prior to the Covid-19 outbreak which has dominated our lives recently but, if anything, has become even more relevant as a result of it.
How to ensure we give children those opportunities?
As we start to return to normality, many people are asking questions over the effects on child development that “lockdown” may have triggered. Adapting to such changes is certainly a challenge for all of us.
Within PE at school, as well as sport specific clubs in the community, coaches love to see children taking on responsibility for their own and their peers’ learning. Through empowering children, setting team challenges and adding healthy competition, sports coaches can encourage natural development of key social skills. Many of these, such as leadership, teamwork, and discipline to name but a few, are easily transferable into the classroom and many other social environments.
Sport is the perfect environment for friendships to flourish. It allows timid children to gain confidence and the more extrinsic to channel their personalities towards healthy goals. The building blocks for conflict resolution and overcoming disappointment are found within sport.
Being healthy is about more than just physical fitness. Off the back of such a difficult time and such strange circumstances, maybe sport will be seen as the brilliant tool it is in developing children for the better. We certainly cannot wait to see children of all ages back out in the playground and sports halls learning and developing together again, whilst having healthy fun!
At EOLAS+ we are driven to make a positive impact on our community. We work with schools in Devon and Cornwall, providing them with teaching support and PE solutions to improve the wellbeing and promote physical activity amongst children. If you feel we can be of any help to your school please get in touch here.
By Steve Tucker
Sport Development Manager