Staying active and involved in sports all year around is important for kids. It helps to maintain fitness, health and gives them an outlet to socialise and meet new friends, burn off excess energy and offers something positive to keep them occupied and motivated towards.
Most health professionals agree that ideally there should be no off season for kids.
While we don’t want them to burn out or be under too much pressure from taking on too many sports, there is no reason why children shouldn’t have both winter and summer sports and activities they engage in on a regular basis.
Professor Bruno Grandi, President of The Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) is quoted as saying, “The difference between machinery and the human body is unyielding. The former wears out in use, while the latter is perfected in motion”.
In today’s article we are going to focus on winter sports in Australia that your child can get involved in.
Aussie Rules Football
AFL is a hugely popular game in Australia with most towns and suburbs have teams for children of all ages and skill levels. There are also some great AFL School Holiday Sports Camps available where kids from beginners to elite can learn or hone their skills in specialist camps run by expert coaches and famous current and ex-players.
AFL is played on a large oval field and offers many benefits to children including:
- Increased cardiovascular fitness
- Improve hand-eye co-ordination
- Strengthening of muscles and bones through physical activity
- Development of communication and listening skills
The team aspect of AFL is also a great way for kids to make friends and become involved in the community.
Netball is another great Australian pastime. Over the years’ Australian senior women’s teams have been at the very top of international competition and this has only strengthened local and junior competitions around the country.
Netball is a fast-paced game, that requires short bursts of fast running, quick reflexes and great agility. When playing netball most players are restricted to specific parts of the court, meaning you rely heavily on the communication and assistance of teammates to move the ball up the court and score. This aspect of the game is one more reason why netball is great for developing a strong team environment where trust, teamwork and camaraderie and key elements to success.
We can’t have an article about winter sports without mentioning snow sports such as skiing and snowboarding. Australia now has many ski resorts where you can go and enjoy a weekend or a week up in the mountains and have fun with the whole family.
In recent years Australia’s professional snow sports athletes have had a lot of success in both winter Olympics and other international competitions.
Snow sports offer a great combination of fun, adventure fitness and skill. Though sometimes travel distances and the cost of equipment and lift passes can make it an expensive sport to enjoy regularly. That’s not to say that a trip to the snow each year won’t be one of the best getaways your family can look forward to.
Rugby League is a fun, physical and entertaining sport. This again is a sport that has great junior competitions in most states and towns in Australia. Rugby League players develop great physical strength and endurance often working at high intensity levels for the duration of the game.
Although the professional grades of Rugby League can look very rough and physical, junior competitions focus on providing a safe, fun environment where kids can learn the rules and the skills of the game before building up to the physically demanding aspects such as tackling.
Find out more about Australian Sports Camps upcoming Rugby League Sports Camps.
Hockey relies heavily on hand eye coordination with each player using a hockey stick to control, pass and shoot the ball. Hockey is another game that is great for developing all over physical fitness and strength as it provides a complete workout for kids young and old.
Fast reflexes and powerful sprinting are great attributes your child will develop through playing hockey. And the stop, go nature of the game likens it to high intensity interval training which is great for burning calories and boosting metabolism.
Soccer is now Australia’s most popular sport for kids, and for good reason. The less physical aspect of the game can be very attractive to parents who don’t want their kids to get hurt, but it also requires great skill, fitness and agility.
Soccer is a game that is easy to learn yet hard to master so it’s great for kids just wanting to try a new sport, and can also provide a fulfilling and very lucrative career opportunity for the players that want to go further with the training and development.
As the most popular junior sport in Australia there are competition clubs and skills camps available in just about every town and suburb across Australia. So, if your child would like to try soccer you won’t have to go too far to find someone to play with.
Basketball is a game that can be played all year round with indoor and outdoor competitions across Australia. Agility, speed and lightning fast reflexes are important skills that will be developed when playing basketball.
Basketball can be played anywhere, with most school and parks having a hoop to start practising with. Also, holiday basketball coaching clinics are a great way to learn the basic rules and skills before signing on to join a registered competition.
There you have a great list of sports that your child can get involved in this winter to keep them fit, active and happy. For more information on skills camps for each of these sports visit our school holiday programs and get your kid involved today.