school

Aussie kids are falling behind in something we usually excel at.

And why we need to do something to change that.

Have you signed your child up for a winter sport yet?

If you haven’t then maybe you should reconsider as studies have suggested that Australian children are falling behind in sporting skills such as kicking, throwing, running and jumping.

An article published by The Conversation stated a Western Australian study has seen a marked decline in fundamental physical fitness and skills for six to twelve-year-olds.

They went on to say that a NSW study on 14,000 kids had found that, “By the time they left primary school competency was low, with less than 50% being competent at running, jumping, catch kick and overarm throw.”

As a mother of two very active boys I found these figures startling. My boys love their cricket, soccer and footy and both have bikes and scooters and they ride too.

How did we get to this point? And more importantly how do we fix it?

Sure we could get into an argument on screen time and how it may or may not have been a factor in these findings or, instead, we could actively do something about it.

The studies show the problem is there and as parents it is our job to help fix it.

It is our children’s health, wellbeing and future that will be impacted on if we don’t.

Sure we could argue about sport and screen time, or we could do something about it.

It’s tough, though, trying to educate your child and encourage physical fitness without crossing the line and making them too body conscious.

I think our best bet is to be active participants (literally and figuratively) in their lives. Do not make a big deal of exercise but just make it part of everyday life. These studies looked at ‘fundamental’ skills and by normalising activity and physical games we can again bring back these fundamental skills.

My kids came home from school yesterday busting with energy and while I groaned and moaned, I eventually gave in to taking them on a bike ride. As soon as we left the street, I knew I had made the right decision.

The same goes for all the times I threw the cricket ball or kicked a soccer ball with them.

Kids love it. They really do.

I don’t know many kids who would say no to kicking a soccer ball in the backyard with their parents in an noncompetitive and fun environment.

I think, more than anything, these studies made me sad.

Why did we let it get to this point?

I don’t know exactly when it happened, or why, but I do know that we can change it.

Do you encourage an active lifestyle for your children?

Want more? Try:

How sport made me (and my kid) more resilient.

“I am rethinking my children’s involvement in weekend sport.”

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