Raising Sporty Children
An international school education offers many opportunities for children to explore their passions in and outside of the classroom. At the Australian International School we believe in providing a well-rounded experience for all of our students, and physical activity is a key component of this. We encourage every child to be involved in physical activity at AIS, whether it’s training in our elite Athlete Development Program, competing in one our representative sports teams, or taking part in one of our many sporting CCA’s. The aim of physical activity for our students is enjoyment, fulfilment and pride. Our Assistant Head of Sport, Michael Preston, offers some tips on raising sporty children, and how to be your child’s biggest supporter…
Variety is key
AIS understands and supports that children have different interests and it is important for us to provide different pathways for them to explore physical activities and finding the right one they would like to participate in long-term.
Children should be encouraged to try a wide range of activities from an early age, from individual to team related activities to discover where their passions lie. Participation in physical activity should be driven by the interest and enjoyment of the child. A positive initial experience of a physical activity has a significant impact on their decision to continue to commit with it long-term.
Be active for life
The nature of physical activity doesn’t have to be competitive. The popular misconception when it comes to physical activity is that it’s often focused on winning medals. The culture at AIS of physical activity is to instill the intrinsic rewards and values in children. It’s important that children enjoy the activity they are doing if they are to perform it to the best of their abilities.
Your child doesn’t need to be the best in the team or the fastest in the race to enjoy the benefit of physical activity as it’s about teamwork, resilience and fun.
Be a ‘Super Sharks’ supporter
For children, one of the most thrilling aspects of participating in physical activity is the support that friends and family give them when they have the chance to watch them. It is the opportunity for the children to showcase their abilities and improvements to their loved-ones.
Being there for your child at sporting events and cheering them on from the sidelines will really boost their confidence and sense of fulfilment.
These are some steps that you can practice to be a ‘Super Sharks’ supporter:
- Using positive words to cheer the team
- Appreciating positive performance by all teams
- Demonstrating respect by letting the professionals carry out their duties
- Role-modeling good sportspersonship
- Maintain a healthy balance
Physical activities forms just one part of a holistic education, alongside academics, the Arts and other extra-curricular pursuits. It is a great release for children at any time but especially during stressful examination periods, and at AIS we always encourage our students to maintain some form of physical activity. An important aspect of the AIS experience is to educate every child of the significance of maintaining balance in their lives across all aspects of their learning.
We strongly recommend regular engagement between students, staff and parents to find out how they are getting on and if there is anything you can do at home to support their development. This dialogue with the coaches should focus on your child’s enjoyment and wellbeing, not just on their performance.
Check out our video above to find out what our students think about their parents coming to watch them play sport…