We all want our children to live their best lives. We want to give them the best opportunities for exercise, well roundedness, character, social interactions. We want to grow them to be successful, caring adults. An important aspect of this is physical exercise and nutrition. We know, understand and are bombarded by media campaigns telling us our kids are getting fatter, promoting sports and exercise and healthier lifestyle choices. But what happens if your kid doesn’t like soccer? Or rugby? Or any of the numerous other extracurriculars you’ve tried?
School Principals, Physical Education Co-ordinators and Ministers of Education are now realising and implementing the great effects that music and dance have on our children. Local Principal, Mr Bruce Fogarty of McDowall State school recently discussed this in a great note that you can find here. We are finally seeing that our girls are tired of the stock standard football, hockey and rugby offered through schools. These aren’t always engaging and don’t fully promote a healthy love for physical activity for all students. Non-traditional activities such as dance have become more popular with students as they provide kids the opportunity for fun, enjoyment and expression without a competitive environment.
The Youth Sports Trust/Nike Girls Project ‘Girls in Sport’ program involved 64 schools across England with the intention of creating ‘girl-friendly’ forms of PE and with changing school practices and community attitudes. What they uncovered was that boys weren’t benefitting from our standard offerings that conform to harsh gender stereotypes as well. Results from these studies recommended introducing alternate non-competitive forms of phys ed to increase long-term participation. Remember that this is what WE want! We want our youths to love exercising and staying active and discover new ways to learn that aren’t always in a book.
Our children are looking for approval, to have fun, fit in and play with their peers. They are not looking to reduce their risk in heart disease and type 2 diabetes. That’s what we’re worrying about. Keeping them healthy, in school and off the streets. Finding things that interest them. Reaping the mental and physical health benefits that dance and the arts have been proven time and time again to provide. It’s time to allow them these opportunities.
Until next time,