Healthy number of kids in sport
MORE THAN HALF INVOLVED, RESEARCH SHOWS
WHETHER it is kicking, diving, hitting, pirouetting or shooting, more than half of WA children are involved in a sport or physical activity.
According to the Department of Sport and Recreation’s (DSR) latest statistics, 53 per cent of WA juniors were participating between 2015 and 2016.
Swimming continues to be top pick. A recent report from the Australian Sports Commission, which surveyed more than 370,000 WA children, showed 30 per cent were involved in swimming.
Soccer was second, at 13.7 per cent, followed by Australian rules football (11), dancing (9) and basketball (7.5). The trend mirrored the national figures, where the top five were swimming, soccer, Australian rules football, gymnastics and netball.
A DSR spokesman said interest and involvement in junior sports had a strong link to what was going on with senior counterparts nationally and around the world.
“When sports develop and grow, like the new AFL Women’s league and Big Bash cricket, you see grassroots participation inspired by the new direction of the sport,” he said.
“There’s also an increase of junior membership in Olympic sports in the 12 months following the games.”
While participation in sport has always been a good way to stay healthy, there are many other advantages to getting involved at a young age.
“Involvement in sport at an early age lays a good foundation for life,” the spokesman said.
“Participation helps to build fundamental social skills, including effective communication and teamwork, encourages an appreciation of the importance of physical health, and provides opportunities for achievement and success and improving confidence.
“When kids are involved in sport, it creates attitudes and behaviours which encourage lifelong participation.
“We encourage children to be as physically active in sport and recreation as possible.”