May 01, 2021 3 min read
We know there’s plenty of health benefits to living an active lifestyle, even for us adults. But when it comes to our daughters, particularly in their formative years, encouraging physical activity and living a healthy life is key for their personal growth, development and mental health.
But how much activity should children be doing?
According to Health Direct, children aged one to five should be doing at least three hours of movement a day and children aged five to 12 should be doing at least an hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. Whilst this includes activities like playing and swimming, this can also be achieved by encouraging our children, especially girls, to participate in team sports.
Research shows that currently 73% of girls up to the age of 14 participate in organised sport and active recreation outside of their school hours. However, as girls start to mature and go into their teens, there is a sharp decline in participation, with many opting out of sporting activity. So how do we keep our girls engaged and keep them playing sport?
The question to ask? What does sport participation teach our girls once they’ve come off the soccer field or jumped out of the pool? There are countless intangibles and life lessons that can be taken away just by participating in team sports, so let’s help our girls to stay in the game not only for the obvious reasons, but for these unique ones too.
We want all girls to be happy, healthy and comfortable in their bodies and playing sports is the perfect way to boost confidence and find that love for themselves. The Womens Sport Foundation’s research found that girls and women who participate in sports have a more positive body image and experience higher states of psychological well being than girls and women who don’t. Plus, more than 75% of working women feel that sports participation helps enhance their self-image.
Playing sports encourages healthy competition. However, with healthy competition comes winning and losing. Through sport, girls learn what it means to not always be the victor and how to accept defeat gracefully – something that we all experience in life. As Health Direct suggests,
“losing teaches children to bounce back from disappointment, cope with unpleasant experiences, and is an important part of becoming resilient”.
Part of this process is to encourage young girls to respect themselves. But, they also need to respect those around them as well. When participating in sport, it’s not always about the individual – there are teammates to consider, coaches to listen to, referees to respect, and opponents to play. Sports teach young girls how to be strong, supportive and dependable.
Discipline on the field can also translate to the classroom, which can then translate to careers. There’s been studies to suggest that sport participation can improve overall concentration, time management and assist in building a strong work ethic – all highly respected skills to take into the workforce. Results from the HSBC Women In Sport survey found that nine in ten women felt that playing team sports has made them succeed in their professional career and over 95% agree that teamwork experienced on-field has only made them more successful off-field.
Lava Tribe empowers young girls to be the best they can be and to focus more on the incredible things their bodies can do instead of how it looks. We celebrate inclusiveness and diversity and encourage girls to own their uniqueness whilst living happy, healthy and active lives.
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