Importance of play

Play is a world of adventure, full of discovery. Play is your child’s way of exploring the world.

It is their first discovery of sensation, movement, language and their surroundings and is an essential part of a child’s development. Being able to play freely enables them to learn valuable skills that will set them up for life, such as:

Physical Benefits:

  • Physical activity on a regular basis can increase a person’s life expectancy.
  • Sport promotes healthy active living, instilling positive eating habits, regular exercise routines and positive lifestyle choices that remain with children forever.
  • Sport increases a child’s physical fitness, strength, endurance, flexibility and aerobic capacity.
  • Regular physical activity strengthens the heart and lungs, increases energy levels, helps children maintain a healthy body weight and increases subjective well-being.

Psychological Benefits:

  • Exercise effects structural and chemical changes within the central nervous system.
  • Regular exercise is associated with faster information processing, problem solving skills and execution of cognitive tasks.
  • Advanced motor skills, creativity and self expression improves contributing to a child’s intellectual capacity.
  • Prevention of various mental health disorders by improving a child’s self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety as physical activity provides a stress release and has a positive effect on mood.

Social Development Benefits:

  • Sport & recreation teaches children essential lifelong social and developmental skills.
  • Sport promotes: hard work, dedication, teamwork, self-discipline, positive thinking, self- confidence, leadership skills and respect for authority.
  • Sport reduces feelings of isolation, loneliness and alienation, providing a constructive pass time where children can feel a part of a team.
  • Children who are highly physically active achieve greater social success, greater leadership, peer acceptance and higher social competence.

Family and Community Benefits: 

  • Children are socialized both in the family and the community. For optimal growth and development children require a strong sense of community and social unity.
  • Sport can be used as a unifying force to bring families and community members closer together.
  • Sport provides role models for the pursuit of personal excellence, building the value of teamwork and community pride.
  • In virtually all sports, once the game begins, social distinctions disappear and the game is centred on fun.
  • Families that are active together tend to be more cohesive throughout life.
  • Physically active people are more likely to volunteer within the community.
  • If one parent is active with a child, that child is 40% more likely to be active; this percentage doubles if both parents are physically active

Prevention:

  • Sport & recreation reduces self-destructive behaviour and negative social activity in youth.
  • Sport reduces both the incidence and severity of illness and disability.
  • Physical activity is essential for preventing child-obesity.
  • Sport regulates obesity since it increases energy expenditure, suppresses appetite, and increases metabolic rate and increases lean body mass.
  • Sport teaches children to control aggressive responses, hardships and pain in times of defeat

 
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