Sports for Kids
by Liesel Rennie
Most kids are encouraged to be active and play sports as part of a healthy lifestyle and to avoid the ever growing pandemic of childhood obesity.
One noticeable difference about schools in Australia is their emphasis on sports (or lack of). Unless your kids are attending a school that places a priority on sports, then your kids are probably not getting the opportunities they should be, to get involved in their favourite sports. Organised kids sport tends to be the starting point for many childrens involvement.
The following is just a summary of the many available sports and how you can get involved in sport clubs, lessons, coaching and teams in each state. The website www.kidspot.com.au (search under topic - sport) seems to be a great starting point as they list dozens of sports centres, clubs and camps for each sport in every state.
Netball Australia has developed a Junior Netball Program for school aged kids. It provides children from the age of 5 to 11 years with the best possible learning and playing experience.
Kids soccer is considered a safe, easy to learn, fun team sport where size is irrelevant. Sign-on is typically in early February although new children can sign on at a club anytime. Generally kids can start at the age of 5.
Junior cricket is available in most local areas for children both boys and girls. MILO cricket is an introductory cricket program for kids aged 5 to 8 years old. Cricket Australia, together with the state and territory cricket associations, run a comprehensive junior cricket program.
One of our adopted countrys favourite pastimes! Auskick is a national program in Australia which aims to develop and promote Australian rules football amongst children. It is designed to teach kids of primary school age how to play aussie rules in a relaxed environment.
Kids tennis instruction comes in four basic types: recreational tennis programs and camps, group tennis lessons, semi-private tennis lessons, and private tennis lessons. Age 5 is the most common starting age but some kids are ready to play tennis by 3. The main requirement for a childs tennis lesson with a pro is the ability to pay attention and follow simple directions.
Infant, toddler & childrens swimming lessons are widely available at swimming centres
throughout Australia. 6 months is the most common starting age for swim classes. Swimming lessons need to be booked in advance at most swim schools, generally in 2 month blocks in line with the school terms.
Kids (both boys and girls) can begin playing rugby after the age of 5 years through the Junior Player Pathway set up by Australian Rugby. There are both contact and noncontact versions depending on your childs age.
Involving your child in gymnastics at an early age can be an extremely rewarding experience. Kids are able to experience how their body moves, socialize with other children and enjoy the thrill of learning a new skill from toddler stage.
Surfing and Surf Lifesaving
Kids love the exhilaration of surfing and there are a range of learn to surf professionals specialising in children. Nippers is a great opportunity for kids and families tobecome involved in surf lifesaving.
There are a variety of childrens golf lessons, activities and programs for kids. Children interested in golf can participate in junior clinics, nine hole events, school holiday workshops and other feature events.
Australian Sports Camps
The Australian sports camps have been operating for over 25 years throughout Australia and in this period has had nearly 40,000 participants (both male and female) from all over Australia. They offer excellent coaching in football, netball, hockey, soccer, athletics, cricket and tennis
for children aged 5 to 17 years at all levels from experienced coaches and guest elite Australian and International players. Their coaching ratio of 1 to 10 ensures personalised attention so why not enrol now and improve your skills and love for your chosen sport.
For more information visit http:www.australiansportscamps.com.au
Launched in 1997 by the Federal Minister for Sport and Recreation, Swim Australias mission is to develop learn to swim in Australia to its full potential; ensuring all Australians have the opportunity to learn to swim and gain water safety knowledge through safe and enjoyable swimming lessons.
The Swim Australia website is a good source of information if you are looking to get involved in swimming. Their site:
Registers Swim Schools that meet industry standards as determined by ASCTA (The Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association Inc)
Promotes the many excellent benefits of learning to swim and water safety
Provides the Swim Australia Registered Swim Schools with products, services and professional development programs to significantly enhance their operation.
Swim Australia is a division of the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association, a non-profit organization. Swim Australia is endorsed by Australian Swimming Inc and the Federal Governments Active Australia.
To find a Swim Australia registered swim school near you visit www.swimaustralia.org.au