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.