Sports have a number of benefits for children that go beyond simply keeping them fit and healthy - although they go a long way in achieving that, too!
Sporting and fitness
The Australian government guidelines for physical activity for youth states that "Children and young people should participate in at least 60 minutes (and up to several hours) of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity every day".
Team sports, requiring regular commitment such as practices and games, help to achieve a bulk of this physical activity.
Despite this, only six out of ten children aged between five and 14 participate in sports. There is also a distinct gender gap, with 70 per cent of boys participating and only 56 per cent of girls.
Regardless of the sport they play, kids need a balanced and nutrient-rich diet to support their level of activity. This means it's even more important to ensure your children are getting healthy meals and snacks full of essential vitamins and minerals for their development.
Healthy Kids NSW, a government initiative, says that playing sport helps kids to learn how to work as a team, a skill that proves invaluable through life.
Sports also help to develop an understanding of fair play and more importantly, teaches kids how to cope with winning and losing due to the competitive nature of sporting activities. This aids in the development of things like social skills and feelings such as empathy.
Sports also help to foster confidence, respect and self-esteem. Practising and working hard towards achieving goals is a valuable part of participation in sports for kids and whether they win or lose, there's always a lesson to take from the field.