If you could start over and be a kid again, which sports would you choose to participate in? Being active is a big part of my family’s lifestyle. It seems that our favorite sports are the ones that we are familiar with because we know our own abilities. Especially as an adult, it might be intimidating to go out on a limb and try something brand new.
For the kids in Calgary, there is a unique opportunity to try their hands (and feet!) at a whole range of activities. Leaving the Talisman Centre after a swim yesterday, I noticed a poster promoting “ALL SPORT ONE DAY“. The event takes place on June 20 and features a full day of sport discovery for kids aged 6 to 12. That’s 50 exciting sports to try in 14 facilities around Calgary.
Bike racing in Edmonton recently as a ‘master blaster’ at Velocity Stage Race, I had an ‘epic for me’ 3rd place finish with a ‘long ago’ Olympic Rower Joe S. We finished 3rd and 4th by taking a chance and breaking from the peloton with 5km left in the race. After the race, I asked him if he would encourage his kids into rowing. From my perspective, it looks like a peaceful and beautiful sport. His response surprised me. “Oh no,” he said, “I hate that sport. It’s the same lake – over and over again. So boring. I love cycling and the variety of terrain you get to see.”
I guess that got me thinking – what is the right sport?
Growing up I played all kinds school sports. I spent a great deal of time alpine skiing and then got pretty good at Rugby and played during University. I suppose Rugby set me up to be a pretty tough endurance athlete.
I’m not sure I would have wanted my parents to do anything different in terms of promoting a particular sport to me. I was fortunate to be exposed to plenty of challenging activities and have maintained a love for athletics all my life.
Times are different now. Just the other day, I saw a couple of kids outside on the street playing street hockey. That was awesome. It not something you see as often anymore, but it reminds you of a time when sports weren’t limited to organized leagues. Kids just played to have fun.
I recently heard an interview where an adult vocalized that kids from Junior High to High School should have a compulsory sport; meaning they MUST participate. It’s an interesting idea, and probably one that would be met with a range of strong opinions. Athletics aren’t necessarily for everyone, but there are so many life skills that can be derived from achieving an athletic skill or playing on a team.
I tend to agree with this concept, and it wouldn’t hurt to get kids committed to learning a musical instrument as well! In my job, I visit plenty of homes and see a lot of kids staring into devices. While I don’t like it, I understand it. My home is the same, and as adult, we are also guilty as charged. Technology has taken the place of real life activities in many ways.
Living in Calgary, we really do have the opportunity to shape our kids lives and assist them with their high performance sporting goals. Many young Canadians travel to Calgary to live with host families and train with our great coaches and facilities.
If you know kids between 6 and 12 years, try to encourage them and their parents to participate in the All Sport One Day on June 20. Who knows, your kids may discover some amazing abilities that they didn’t even know they had!
So – knowing what you know now, which sport would have been right for you as a teenager? Do you wish you had committed to a team sport so you could feel confident about joining a league as as adult? Are there any athletic activities that you recently discovered that are now an important part of your life? Which sport would you direct your ‘loved’ neighbours, nieces, nephews, and kids into?
Have a great weekend.