Spent playing sport
anced life, particularly kids who are studying hard at school,” he said.
“If your physical health is in good shape you’re more likely to be productive and enjoying life.”
Alexander used to coach football for boys with behavioural problems.
“If you get them into a sporting club they will feel a part of the community, they’ll have a stake in it and they will be less likely to offend against something that they feel a part of,” he said.
He said sport also opened doors for social contact.
“The only way you make new friends is in your workplace, at school where you pick up your kids and run into other parents or through sporting clubs,” he said.
“There are not that many other places where you meet new people.”
He said WA had excellent sport and recreation facilities.
The increasing trend of smaller play areas in modern housing estates and children spending more time on computers had made it increasingly important to use these facilities and public open spaces.
Alexander said seniors were also encouraged to remain physically active, with doctors prescribing exercise routines for their patients.
Former professional soccer player Brad Hassell has been passionate about playing sport ever since pulling on his first pair of football boots at age four.
Hassell, who was part of two title-winning teams with Perth Glory from 2001 to 2004, said his involvement in sport had helped to maintain his fitness and establish a social network.
“I had a fantastic time with the Glory; we were winning and competing in front of big crowds and there was a real buzz around the squad,” he said.
“I made some good friends and I still see some of them involved in the game.”
He said the social benefits of interacting with groups of players helped develop team work which could be applied in other areas of life.
“You need to learn to work with others and get on with people,” he said.
After a stint in management with Armadale FC, Hassell has been a skill acquisition trainer with Football West for the past five years, working with children aged 9-12.
He still plays five-a-side soccer during summer .
“I enjoy doing it and the plus side of that is that you are getting the fitness with it,” he said.
“If you had to do something like run laps it’s boring – I’d much rather play five-a-side than go to the gym.”