By Jolyon & Lucy Marks
DIRECTORS OF RUGBYTOTS NORTH EAST KENT
If children can take part in activities and play sport why can’t adults?!
Following on from our last article, ‘Spectating, it’s a parents game’ we want to look at how adults can participate; many get the idea from seeing their children or family members participate and clubs/organisations will try to entice you to come along and give it a go yourself.
How often do you hear the phrases:
‘I used to play but haven’t got time now’
‘I’d love to give it a go but…’
‘I wish I could but I think I’m too old’
Sport England wants to give everyone the opportunity to take part whatever your standard, experience or the speed you can move at? Sport England’s own words are,
‘Our vision is that everyone in England feels able to take part in sport or activity, regardless of age, background or ability.’
There are many initiatives out there now for all ages to give different sports and activities a go or to get back into a sport that you may have given up years ago. For the younger generations, there are so many it is a battle to sometimes fit them all in!
For the older generations or those with a health issue, the speed of the activity can be modified to a walking pace. National Governing Bodies of sport have also recognised the need to adapt games to suit all levels of participation. Similarly, many clubs and organisations also now understand and accommodate for different levels of participation, from those playing at the weekend and it taking up the whole day, to I can play but cannot hang around for too long due to family/work commitments, to those who want to participate but have not got the time or desire to participate at the weekend.
For those who play regularly, they should have the opportunity to train during the week with sessions led by a coach. These sessions could be very daunting for an absolute beginner or someone trying to get back into the sport. So many clubs & organisations now provide sessions that are arranged during the week to allow to these people to take part. Many of these are initiatives put forward by the National Governing Bodies of the various sports/activities. Sport really is much more inclusive and accessible than it used to be and is constantly progressing.
If a session is run well – the participants should be made to feel welcome, understand what is being delivered by the coach, what is expecting of them and the coach should understand the needs of the participants, oh yes and it should be fun! Hopefully, you should soon realise that you wish you had done this earlier and see the benefits of participating.
What are the benefits? Well, there is the health side, get active although sometimes your body might tell you otherwise after the first few session, but persist! Then there is the social side, confidence boosting and a chance to do something for yourself for a change. If you have children hopefully you will have more of a chance of being competitive when participating with them at home or in the park and help them to improve. Who knows you could end up being a qualified coach/instructor?
You never know how good you can be? I have spoken to people who did not start playing a sport until in their 40s and have gone on the represent their country in that sport a few years later. So whatever your excuse has been not to ‘get active’ it’s time to make a change! Get back into that sport/activity or give something new a go.
Ask around, search online, at your local community centre there will be something going on locally.