Charity champions top tips to support parents in sport

National children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust is one of many organisations that will be backing the NSPCC’s Parents in Sport Week.

Between 1 to 7 October, the charity will be focusing on helping parents to positively influence their child’s enjoyment and wellbeing in sport.

The Youth Sport Trust will be sharing information and advice about how to encourage children to be more active and importantly how to play a supportive role in their sporting life.

Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said:

Parents play a critical role within youth sport. Developing children’s love of movement from an early age is vital, we know how important parents and carers are in a child’s future life habits, and when children start to play sport there are lots of things parents can do to help children enjoy and be fulfilled by the experience.

"As a youth sport charity, we offer a wide range of support for parents, so they can play an active role in their child’s sporting life. From our Active Parents report which meets a growing concern that many parents do not have the confidence or knowledge to incorporate an active lifestyle into their everyday lives, to our Performance Parent workshops with the YST Talent programme, which help parents who are supporting their children to take their first steps into the world of elite sport.

"It’s not straightforward and by supporting parents with the many different roles that they play in relation to children’s sporting life we know we can improve the experience for all the family. From being taxi driver to coach, and from kit washer to simply being a shoulder to lean on - without the support of parents and carers, youth sport could not exist in the way it does today."

Hundreds of sports organisations in the UK and Ireland will also be marking Parents in Sport Week to celebrate the role that parents play and ensuring that parents’ involvement is a positive one.

Explaining the aims of Parents in Sport Week, Anne Tiivas Service Head at CPSU, explained:

We know that without parents’ involvement in their child’s sport, children are less likely to achieve and sustain a lifelong interest in sport and adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Parents in Sport Week is important because it encourages parents to make sure they are positively influencing their child’s involvement and wellbeing in sport and recognise their role in keeping them safe. It also encourages clubs to ensure they are engaging with parents.

The Youth Sport Trust’s Active Parents Report includes a series of ideas and advice on how parents can get children active and enjoy physical activity. Read five top tips from the report here:

  1. Exchange screen time for active time
    There’s nothing wrong with a bit of screen time, as long as it’s part of a balanced day. Can you swap half an hour of physical activity with half an hour of screen time? Can you find TV programmes, console games and apps that encourage physical activity? ‘Minute shake up’ is a great example made by Disney and Change4Life as a new way of using technology to make kids more active.
  2. Become part of a team
    Any challenge is easier to face if you’re doing it as part of a team. You don’t have to join a formal sports club. Instead, could you join up with members of your extended family, with neighbours and friends or with parents at school to take part in regular activities together?
  3. Involve your child in choosing what to do
    When children have some control over what they do, they are more likely to stick at it.
  4. Make family time an active time
    Family time together is very precious. Make it even more enjoyable and rewarding by making it active by walking together, playing outside together in local parks, woodlands, adventure playgrounds or other green spaces, or even growing your own food together. The Change4Life website can help you to find local activities.
  5. Stand more, sit less
    Sitting for long periods is thought to slow the metabolism, which increases the risk of obesity and type two diabetes. Can you have a family challenge where everyone avoids sitting down for more than 15 minutes at a time? Stand up, stretch and move about. Make this a family habit. It’s easy and free.

YST Talent is an online portal for parents and young people to support them achieving their sporting and academic potential. In celebration of Parents in Sport Week, the Youth Sport Trust will be offering 50% discount on all parent specific online modules. To access the code please go to https://www.yst-talent.org.uk/product/parents-course-bundle/ and use the code parentsinsport18. The offer is available between now and October 8, 2018.

For more information about Parents in Sport Week 2018, follow the conversation online using #ParentsInSportWeek2018 and #InvolvingParents. Or visit the CPSU's Parents in Sport Week page here.

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