Why Competitive Sport and Physical Activity is Important for Children - October Blog

As we start the academic year and sports fixtures are now returning to normal following Covid, the topic of competitive sports is something that is back for debate. Cecilia Warren, Class Teacher and Head of Girls Games, gives her take on sport in primary school. 

The one thing I look back on with very fond memories at school, is the sport I played and the friendships that were formed. I am a huge believer of encouraging children to be physically active and to try new things. This could be in school, at club level or at the weekend with family. There are so many sports to choose from; there is something for everyone. 

Sometimes as parents, we have our own ‘hang-ups’ about sport and these prejudices can get passed on to our children. But our children are not the same as us, and we need to allow them to experience lots of different activities so that they can make up their own minds about they might enjoy. We might have disliked PE in school but for our children it might be the best lesson of the week, so let’s embrace it! 

When we get outside and partake in physical activity endorphins start to be released in the body which increases mood, decreases anxiety and helps us to sleep. These benefits are imperative for our young people. 

All sports providers will welcome children with a smile, allow them to reach goals that they might not have thought possible, meet new people and form friendships. Sport; whether it is done in school or outside of school, helps children to socialise, to show resilience, be a team player, learn to compromise, follow rules and listen to an official. The most important objective of course, is to HAVE FUN! 

When a child goes on a school fixture, it isn’t just about playing sport. It’s about the opportunity to travel to another school and see how other schools do things. It’s about being independent and being organised, making sure the child has everything they need, like a water bottle, shin pads and a gum shield. It’s about meeting other young people their age and playing amongst them and seeing how their skill level is the same or different. Of course, it is also about the competition, and this provides children with the motivation to achieve a goal, demonstrate determination, to persevere to overcome a challenge and understand that hard work and commitment leads to a greater chance of success. These values are important for our young people to adopt and what is great at Brackenfield is these are our whole school values too. 

So, if your child hasn’t tried a sporting activity outside of school, then take them along to one. See how they get on and you never know, you may be harbouring a top athlete for the next generation!