The benefits of physical activity go far beyond the development of strength fitness. Being active in the outdoors improves our health and wellbeing in a range of interconnected ways. Self-confidence, focus, motivation and application are all enriched through physical play. And yet many of us feel challenged when making time for this. At Jenny’s ELC we incorporate physical activity into each and every day through our program but also by inviting other programs in such as Kelly Sports or Yoga within the rooms but quite often families start to consider different options for extra curricular sports and activities for weekdays or weekends.
Building a healthy relationship with physical activity from an early age will establish lifelong healthy habits and getting involved with your children is easy when you access the support of your community.
Organised sporting activities can be the perfect way for children to get active in a way that is regular, organised and fun. Sporting activities such as these are tailored to the needs of young children. A team sports ethos and role modelling from supportive coaches can bring valuable teachings into your child’s life, building their confidence, resilience and motivation. Organised sporting activites can also help to support a child’s transition into a school setting where they are encouraged to practice life skills such as turn taking, respect, encouragement of others and resilience.
Here are some popular team sports and activity groups that we’ve found children love and the benefits they bring both physically and emotionally.
Soccer is an ideal beginner’s team sport and it’s increasingly popular with both girls and boys. A soccer game involves cardiovascular activity in intervals, rather than at a sustained pace. This makes it a gentle introductory sport for children who are not naturally drawn to high levels of physical activity. The game centres around agility, coordination and most of all, teamwork, so there is wide scope for children to reveal their talents on the field. Epsom Soccer Club is located less than 2km from the Jenny’s ELC Centre in Epsom and of a Saturday morning is an absolute hive of activity with families from all over Bendigo merging on the Epsom Soccer grounds for junior games.
Joining a junior team allows them to have as much or as little activity as they would like to within a social and non-competitive, environment. Soccer is a game the whole family can play even with just a small area of yard and some homemade goals at home if you like!
The Bendigo Braves offer opportunities for informal Basketball play through Biddy Ball twice a week for children at the Bendigo Stadium on Marong Road. This is great for children who love to run and throw a ball in a fun and social environment. This is a great way for children aged 3-6 years to get involved.e:30px”>Cricket
Jenny’s ELC supports the Strathfieldsaye In2 Cricket Program over the Summer – it’s a great opportunity for children to gain confidence and coordination in a family friendly environment. Mum’s and Dad’s are encouraged to come along to the Tannery Lane Oval and help develop the skills of all children in the local area. There are also Junior Cricket Programs operating in the Maiden Gully and Huntly areas for those people who are interested ize:30px”>AFL Football
Bendigo wouldn’t be Bendigo without AFL – Auskick is great for Kinder aged children to get involved in a fun and supportive format of the game. Great for cardio fitness, balance, and teamwork, it can develop into a lifelong love and it is a sporting activity readily enjoyed in adult life. Auskick Programs run at both Maiden Gully and Strathfieldsaye Football ovals over the winter mon-
Athletics – https://www.athleticsbendigo.org.au/
Athletics offers diversity, excitement and challenges and it can be a great opportunity for your child to discover their unique sporting talents.
Athletics activities are often suited to a particular physical makeup and you may find you have a natural high jumper or shot putter in the family. Athletics offers children the opportunity to try a range of sports so they can explore different things. As they grow older, athletics can be attractive to children who prefer to participate in more individual sporting events. While still offering the social benefits of community, team inclusions and camaraderie with fellow athletes, it can be appealing to children who like to push their own boundaries and athletics can facilitate this.
It is natural for kids to be drawn to a range of sports, and trying them out is a great way to better understand the little person in your life. Kids are renowned for surprising their parents with an inclination towards something you would never have picked, so when in doubt, go with it!