The Other Side of the Promotional Coin

While Let Kids Be Kids is mostly about curbing the restrictions placed on children’s games and activities in institutions like schools, there can also be another way of achieving my fairly specific goal. Promotion of other activities outside of preschool, day care or school can help assure the policy-makers that activity of a physical nature is good for kids.

I’ve come across a couple of good causes that promote physical activity generally. While Let Kids Be Kids certainly aims to do this on a broader level, I am more intent on fighting the bans placed on these activities. Nonetheless, Sport For Thought and Active Sydney are two quite localised programs looking to encourage sport and activity amongst young children to prepare them for a healthy lifestyle later on.

AusKick is one of the programs touted by Sport For Thought. This is a development program run by the AFL for children under the age of ten to get them ready for junior Aussie Rules. It is a great initiative and personally, I have family members that have gone through this program and come out as young kids with a passion for Aussie Rules and more importantly a passion for exercise and physical activity.

Similarly, Cricket Australia has run a development program for kids aged four to ten since 1997. Now named in2CRICKET, I was one of the first crop to complete this ‘season’ run over a couple of months and at the end I even played on the Sydney Cricket Ground which is any young cricket lover’s dream.

Again, programs like this ensure that young kids are not left out of the action and fun of being a kid. Soccer, rugby and rugby league all extend to young ages and with modified rules, the kids are given a fair go and a great stepping stone to sport throughout their junior years.

Playing these sports on the weekend should clearly show that the kids are capable. Sporting clubs and organisations are willing to give themselves over to the risk that injury will occur. Of course they are protected by insurance, but risk of injury is simply part of life in general, not to mention sports and games. It’s time for schools and other institutions to stop the nanny-state banning of sports and games and take a page from the books of these programs.

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4 thoughts on “The Other Side of the Promotional Coin

  1. Nice post… Cycling is another activity that a lot of kids aren’t allowed to partake in these days, because parents are such control freaks, and they think the kids will get a grazed knee. Thousands of kids used to ride bikes to school every day, but it’s a rare occurrence now. In saying that though, the Bourke St cycleway is fostering a return to the school-biking culture, so hopefully that continues to succeed. Teaching our kids about risk assessment, and keeping them healthy, is so important.

    Good luck in your campaign, and be sure to check out some of our tips for getting into cycling 🙂

    http://cyclingsydney.wordpress.com/

  2. The huge increase of what is now called “cotton wool kids” inevitably prepares them for a life of sedentary. Kids need to be kids, and that often comes with a whole range of injuries and lessons – within reason of course. Perhaps we as a society could emphasise the mental side of sports and the results in kids becoming better, more well rounded adults? I personally played auskick and junior soccer and have gained huge advances in understanding teamwork, the importance of community, and some lifelong friends.

  3. Great cause! With the marginalised physical education in Australia nowadays, most kids are pushed to focus more on literacy and numeracy tests, leaving less and less time for kids to actually enjoy their rights of playing during childhood. It is important to raise awareness among parents and educators to make a balance between study and the sporting activities for kids’ healthy and happy childhoods.

  4. I used to play AusKick in Tamworth when I was little. I was part of the ‘Swannies’. It was great fun, although I think my older brother used it as an excuse to beat me up without mum getting mad. I mad friends in that team that I still have today and even though my AFL skills leave a little to be desired, it was a great way to get outdoors and have some fun. Great campaign ‘Let Kids Be Kids’

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