HOW HONG KONG YOUTH CAN BENEFIT FROM CLUB BASED ATHLETICS
In this day and age, there is no shortage of athletic opportunities for children in Hong Kong. From rugby to swimming to basketball to tennis, the possibilities are endless. Even once your child selects which sport (or, hopefully, sports!) they’d like to pursue, there are still many choices to be made. Here are three ways your child can benefit from enrollment in a sports club or program:
It may seem obvious to some, but many parents in Hong Kong neglect to acknowledge the relationship between physical activity and physical health! A child who spends their spare time glued to the television set or video games is going to be at a disadvantage compared to their peers who participate in extracurricular athletics. Though schools in Hong Kong do provide children with some form of exercise programs, it is quite frankly not enough. Over the past few decades, studies have shown a significant correlation between rising childhood obesity rates and declining physical activity. Growing children need to run around and play to stay fit, and joining a sports club may be just what the doctor ordered.
Increased physical activity has also been shown to have positive correlation with healthy eating habits. According to a 2010 study published in the Journal of School Health (Relationships Between Youth Sport Participation and Selected Health Risk Behaviours From 1999 to 2007), active youngsters have a much greater likelihood of eating healthily and avoiding obesity later in life.
The social benefits of joining a sports club, or even participating in sports in general, are outstanding. Unlike school, where kids are simply grouped by age, sports clubs give children opportunity to make friends with those who share a similar interest. Children also develop a sense of belonging and camaraderie by joining a team of club.
Though this benefits boys as well, a 2012 article in Sports Illustrated highlighted the immense benefits reaped by teenage girls, stating that “girls who compete in sports get better grades, graduate at higher rates and have more confidence.”
According to “Physical Activity Behaviors and Perceived Life Satisfaction Among Public High School Adolescents”, a Journal of School Health study, high school students who participated in sports had a much higher overall life satisfaction than those who did not. This study was focused on participation in school based sports, but we believe private clubs can serve a similar function. Schools are primarily focused on education and are not always able to provide a child with the level of coaching or quality of facilities they require. Clubs make for an excellent way to supplement school based sports.
Whether in an athletic club, at school or even at the park with friends – it is essential that Hong Kong children take part in athletics one way or another!