Enjoyment is the biggest motivation for children to be active

If you were to ask a young child why they wanted to play a game or a sport you would expect their response to be, ‘because it’s fun!’

A recent study by Sport England has shown that a person who is enjoying their sport is more likely to keep playing and lead a more active lifestyle. It’s true this isn’t rocket science, however if a child is staying active because they are enjoying themselves then they are more likely to lead a healthier lifestyle and continue with sport for longer.

As we know, sport increases social skills and confidence, but it is the finding that it can increase happiness that is the most refreshing. We need to look at how we project sport to young people. Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive at Sport England agrees, “This is a critical moment for all of society to better understand what will motivate young people to get active.”

Young people who have led more active lifestyles and have been part of sporting set ups have higher confidence. Those who have not been exposed to sport early on in their lives can shy away from these activities in their later years due to lack of confidence. Minister for Sport and Civil Society, Mims Davies says, “We know an active child is a happier child, but too many are losing the confidence and enjoyment of sporting activities as they get older.” Could this mean that as we get older sport isn’t as fun?

Should we change how we are promoting and coaching sport? If enjoyment is the biggest motivator then could our countries drive for highly competitive athletes be hindering the number of people playing sport, and more over could it actually be deterring potential talent coming through?

One of the findings from the study showed that, ‘43.3% of children and young people are active, but 32.9% do less than 30 minutes of activity a day.’ Perhaps we need to think about the positive impact that sport and activity can have on enriching young people’s lives before we push the competitive aspect on them?

This is a topic that throws up many discussion points – please feel free to comment and share your opinion.

For us at Team Sports Travel this information highlighted the importance of enjoyable sport in young people’s lives, as well as the benefits it brings. We cater all tours to our customers, a positive tour can improve confidence, team cohesion, work rate and of course enjoyment. These are some key values

Website – https://www.sportengland.org/news-and-features/news/2019/march/21/latest-insights-from-active-lives-children-and-young-people-survey-revealed/

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