Shining a Light on the Role of Sports in Children’s Development

June 18, 2024

From the 17th of June to the 23rd of June, it is National School Sport Week, a time dedicated to encouraging children to become more involved in sports and have at least 60 minutes a day of PE. In partnership with Sports Direct, this week is the time to ‘play for fun, play for 60’.

The Government advises that children should be active for 30 minutes during the school day, and then a further 30 minutes outside of school. For disabled young people, it is recommended that they carry out a minimum of 20 minutes of physical activity every day, with strength and balance activity three times a week.

This year, the week’s theme centres around the Euros, with a special one-off event that focusses on football and how it can engage young people in sport. By registering, schools will be able to have access to free resources, lesson plans, and classroom activities, all co-designed by young people specifically for young people.

Sports Direct will also be giving away free football packs that include Nike footballs, Monster Kickabout bibs, and more.

Incorporating healthy activities into a child’s daily life is a proven way to support their development, and this blog will delve into the multiple factors that demonstrate why sports are beneficial for children.

The physical benefits for children

Throughout childhood, our minds and bodies are developing and evolving, with so many changes occurring. Playing sport offers physical benefits for children during this crucial period of development, with a variety of positive contributions.

From such a young age, it is beneficial to begin developing and using muscles, and playing sports can improve coordination and motor skills in the process. It can also support cardiovascular health through the incorporation of regular exercise in children’s daily routine.

By making sport a regular occurrence in a child’s life, it can also support those who are at risk of an unhealthy lifestyle, are fighting obesity, or have any other related health conditions. And, it can help to improve sleeping patterns, too, ensuring that children can rest properly and maintain a balanced lifestyle.

The mental benefits for children

The benefits of playing sport do not stop with physical factors. In fact, playing sport can encourage cognitive growth through the increase in production of endorphins. This can further enhance brain function, whilst also supporting an improved state of mental wellbeing.

Beyond this, playing sport and being more active contributes to so many other skills such as problem-solving and decision-making, as well as an improvement in focus, attention span and information retention.

The social benefits for children

Of course, playing sport is a social activity as well as a physical one, and it can carry so many benefits for children’s social skills. It can dramatically help with communication skills, particularly in circumstances that encourage teamwork and cooperation.

Through expressing themselves in a different environment to that of the classroom, playing a sport allows children to improve their confidence, too, with dramatic improvements to their self-esteem and mental attitude.

Are you looking for your next sports career opportunity?

If you are looking for your next role as a PE teacher or a similar role and want to support and encourage children in playing and learning sports, then get in touch with us today. Here at Bookmark, we can help you to find your dream role, and we can also match up schools looking for the best suited teachers to join their team.

As a leading education recruitment partner, you will be in safe hands, so contact us today and we will discuss your next steps.