En­joy healthy com­pe­ti­tion

Play­ing sport de­vel­ops phys­i­cal and so­cial skills

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - SPORT - Laura Tri­este

THE ben­e­fits of reg­u­larly play­ing sport at a young age go well be­yond the phys­i­cal.

The chance to make new friends, learn dis­ci­pline and de­velop so­cial skills are just some of the many perks that come with it.

Find­ing a sport they love also makes it much eas­ier and en­joy­able for a child to meet Aus­tralia’s Phys­i­cal Ac­tiv­ity and Se­den­tary Be­hav­iour Guide­lines of at least an hour of mod­er­ate to vig­or­ous in­ten­sity phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity a day.

More than half (60 per cent) of Aus­tralian chil­dren aged five to 14 years par­tic­i­pated in at least one or­gan­ised sport out­side of school in 2012, ac­cord­ing to the Aus­tralian Bu­reau of Sta­tis­tics.

Swim­ming and div­ing was the most pop­u­lar sport, with an 18 per cent par­tic­i­pa­tion rate, fol­lowed by out­door soc­cer – the num­ber one sport for boys.

Swim­ming NSW chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark Heathcote said there were many rea­sons both boys and girls chose to join a swim­ming club af­ter they had learnt how to swim.

“It’s very good for the body, it’s low im­pact and be­cause there’s a fair bit of train­ing, it cre­ates dis­ci­plined in­di­vid­u­als that are goal-ori­ented,” he said.

Choos­ing a club comes down to a range of fac­tors.

“Some are more com­pet­i­tive than oth­ers and some are purely so­cial. It’s just about find­ing the bal­ance that works for you,” Mr Heathcote said. For more in­for­ma­tion: nsw.swim­ming.org.au

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