Aussies are known for being laid back and resilient. This extends in so many ways to how they parent. Their approach to children's sports is something to be modelled. Aussie kids are active, in part because Australian parents have created a relaxed environment for their children to explore physically while learning to be responsible and independent.
|Our 10 year old and good friend on the top of Aussie's highest peak. They were two of the 13 kids that hiked with us that day, the youngest of which was 3.|
What is striking is not only how young the kids are but also the array of physical activities kids do and the amount of activity families engage in. Most of the kids in our area ages 4 to 15 were involved in multiple activities, including rugby, soccer, net ball, water polo, sailing, dance, cricket and more. Parents are more relaxed about injuries, competition, coaching approaches, etc., which makes it possible for kids to do so much and so many sports. Families, also, prioritize team sports and athletic activities, which helps them maintain really busy weeks.
The emphasis on activity is also supported in the schools with a lot more daily and weekly activity worked into the class schedule. At our local public elementary school there is a weekly gym class, an hour of recess as well as a morning outdoor break and several sports teams which compete during the school day. There are several sport carnivals every year for swimming and running, which is a entire day devoted to the kids competing in those sports. In addition each week on nice days the kids are walked down to a beautiful sports field to just run around or play a pick-up game.
|My 5 year old running the 1K for the 'Athletics Carnival'. All Aussie kindergartners in the area run this race and the top three go to the district competition. Avi came in 12th and didn't stop till the finish line.|