With the amazing netball being played in the Constellation Cup, the AFLW finals looming, the great rugby played in the Rugby World Cup and the ODI World Cup now being played in India, sport seems to be everywhere we look.
At Westminster it is similar. We have rolled into summer sport and we are in the final stages of the review of our sport program, following on from our Parents’ and Caregivers’ Survey last year. Following the Sport Review, we will move on with recommendations and implement a working group to ensure that we are progressing in a positive manner.
Being positive and progressive is something we all need to be around activities that our children take part in. Just this week there was a great article published on the ABC around sport and parenting (see below).
The digital world that we now live in has amplified pressure around sport and it is important to recognise this. We all aspire to be the best parents we can be, and we’ll strive to give our children opportunities that we didn’t have. Perhaps at times our aspirations can be counterproductive to what we want to achieve.
The article raises a critical point that we can forget as parents - that children like to play sport for fun and to be with their friends. Our own review has highlighted this. Nathan Burke shared in the article that: (his) daughters explained that the best fun in sport was getting to the game early so they could hang out with their friends before the warm-up and then, after the match, having a ball with their friends without having to jump in the car and rush off.
We have to ask our children what they are enjoying and foster that. We are all having to grapple with this. Both of my boys were selected by SASI for rowing. They were both doing really well, however, for one of them skateboarding was much more fun than rowing. So instead of forcing him to row, I helped him build a grind box (a big box with metal edges for practising). This was probably a mistake but, as parents, we need to accept that these are inevitable. We are all just trying our best.
But we do have to remember that our frustrations with our children not making the most of their talents are just that - our frustrations. We have to ask ourselves - should we visit these upon our children? As we move forward with our new strategic plan and implement the findings of our Sport Review, we all must recognise that our children need to have fun and really enjoy what they are doing. Their success will probably be very closely related to their level of enjoyment.