Monday, December 8, 2014

Helping kids to fall in love with sport

One thing I know from being a parent of three kids of different ages is that when it comes to sport there is no one size fits all approach.

As someone who loves sport and fitness, and who swam and played basketball competitively throughout my childhood and teens, I found that when I had my own children I really, really wanted them to follow in my footsteps.

First we tried swimming - two loved it, one hated it. Annoying. Then gymnastics - two hated it and one loved it. Then tennis - two hated it and one wouldn't even try it. Within a year of classes of each they had all dropped out. I started to get more than a little frustrated.

At three years old we tried the eldest boy with football. He screamed. At four he tentatively joined in but looked generally unimpressed at having to stand around in shorts and long socks each freezing Saturday morning. He had a go at both Rubgy and GAA, but the passion just wasn't there. Then at around 6 years old something just clicked. After that it was hard to get him off the football pitch at all. Our weekends now generally revolve around ferrying him too and from training and matches - but we all love it.

The eldest girl went through swimming, gymnastics, tennis and horse riding before finally settling on hockey - which she now adores.

The youngest has just started following his older brother's footsteps in the football after a similar number of false starts - and seems to have got the bug too. They are now also big kamikaze swim fans. Hooray!

The point is that with most kids it's a lot of trial and error before they choose the sport that suits them. 

Knowing this I was really interested in the reports back from a group of Netmums bloggers on a new Virgin Active fitness class for children aged 8 - 16. 

Virgin Active know all about kids and sport and are are passionate about getting children into fitness. 

It's all about joining in a fun, affective and age appropriate fitness class - whilst meeting new friends and having a laugh. 

Here's what they say:

Staying active is so important in today's world. In those formative years when kids re growing up, they need regular exercise to help them develop and stay healthy.  What’s more, inactivity can impact younger years in the more immediate term: being active can improve concentration, increase levels of academic attainment and reduce absenteeism from school.

With so many distractions (smart phone, Netflix, X-box, etc) it’s harder than ever for kids to see exercise as a fun pastime. Virgin Active have looked into this problem and have found that kids aged 8-16 are most affected by a lack of fun options for exercise.

That’s why we've teamed up with some of the world’s leading experts in movement to bring us Active Crew, a range of classes designed for kids in this age range which will be delivered to schools and communities across the UK.

With all this in mind Netmums and Virgin Active joined forces to send 8 Netmums bloggers to one of their new classes and report back openly and honestly about what they thought.

The feedback was overwhelming positive with many parents really surprised at just how much their kids enjoyed the classes.

If you'd like to read first hand exactly what they thought then pop over to one or all of the following posts:

Kiddy Charts
Mad Mum of 7
The House that Never Rests
Mummy Endeavours
Cracked Nails and Split Ends
Mum in Meltdown
My Sidekick and Me

Alternatively you can visit the Virgin Active blog to see what's been going on behind the scenes.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Netmums.

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