Job search
Job Search

Editor's letter: Fun is the answer

New research has found being too serious kills kids’ interest in sport. We need to harness the power of fun to engage children and enable them to develop lifelong exercise habits

by Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Sports Management 2019 issue 1
Read on turning pages | Download PDF of this issue

Anew survey by IPSOS Mori for Sport England called Active Lives: Children and Young People, reveals fascinating insights into how children view and respond to sport and what motivates them to participate.

The most revealing discovery was that children who are competent in all five areas of physical literacy – enjoyment, confidence, competence, understanding and knowledge – are happier and more trusting of other children. They also report higher levels of resilience.

This is a truly fundamental discovery and must pave the way for a review of the way we value sport in relation to child development. It’s especially important at this point in time, when the mental health of children and young people is giving such a cause for concern.

Researchers also found that physically literate children do twice as much activity: effectively, the more physically literate they are, the more active they are.

Factors which inspired children to want to exercise were also examined. Researchers looked at how clearly children understood the value of sport to their own wellbeing. They also looked at how much fun they had doing it.

Although 68 per cent of children were aware that sport is good for their health, having this knowledge actually had the least impact on activity levels. Instead, the biggest motivator was found to be fun and enjoyment.

In publishing the study, Sport England CEO, Tim Hollingsworth, said: “This survey gives us the richest evidence yet that sport and physical activity for children needs to be fun and enjoyable, above all.”

IPSOS Mori also confirmed that physical literacy decreases steadily with age and that as children grow older, they do less sport and report lower levels of enjoyment, confidence, competence, and understanding.

This ties in with Sport England research which shows a tendency for activity levels to drop off as children become teenagers and begs the question, which comes first – loss of physical literacy or a decline in participation?

Do we need to do more to help children maintain their physical literacy as their bodies grow and change?

We know we have to keep people moving all their lives and that developing physical literacy in childhood is the key to enjoyment and the bedrock of a lifelong exercise habit.

All policies relating to sport need to be reviewed to bring them in line with this research, so we continue to place enjoyment at the heart of children’s sport.

The Government’s School Sport Action plan green paper, which is due shortly, will be the first opportunity to do this and the industry must engage and respond.

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
Sports jobs
Everyone Active
featured job

Swimming Teachers

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive hourly rate
Job location: Nationwide

Personal / Fitness Trainer - Monument

The Gym Group
Salary: Fantastic Benefits
Location: London, England

Gymnastics Coaching Assistant

Wiltshire Council
Salary: £11.81 - £12.54 per hour
Location: Salisbury, UK

Assistant General Manager

The Gym Group
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: Waterloo, London, UK

Extreme Supervisors

GLL
Salary: Up To £17,977 PA
Location: Swindon, UK

Assistant General Manager

The Gym Group
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: Shirley, Solihull, UK

Health, Safety and Environmental Manager

Mytime Active
Salary: £30,000 - £35,000 per annum
Location: Kent, England, UK

Recreation Assistant

Legacy Leisure
Salary: Competitive
Location: Cardiff, UK

General Manager

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive salary performance related pay
Location: Kenilworth, UK

Outdoor Activity Development Officer

The Outdoor Partnership
Salary: £28,000 - £30,000 (depending on experience)
Location: Whitehaven, UK
recruiting with sports management

Outdoor Activity Development Officer

The Outdoor Partnership
Salary: £28,000 - £30,000 (depending on experience)
Location: Kilmarnock, UK

Outdoor Activity Development Officer

The Outdoor Partnership
Salary: £28,000 - £30,000 (depending on experience)
Location: Bryansford, Newcastle, UK

Sales Account Manager

Technogym
Salary: Competitive
Location: Cardiff, UK

General Manager

The Gym Group
Salary: Competitive salary plus benefits
Location: Nationwide, UK

Recreation Assistant

Parkwood Leisure
Salary: Competitive
Location: Bristol, UK

Swimming Instructors

Legacy Leisure
Salary: £12 per hour
Location: Erewash District, UK

Yoga Instructor

Lex Leisure
Salary: Competitive
Location: West Bridgford, Nottingham, UK
recruiting with sports management

Group Fitness Instructor

Lex Leisure
Salary: Competitive
Location: West Bridgford, Nottingham, UK

Group Fitness Instructor

Lex Leisure
Salary: Competitive
Location: West Bridgford, Nottingham, UK

Group Fitness Instructor

Lex Leisure
Salary:
Location: West Bridgford, Nottingham, UK

Group Fitness Instructor- HIIT

Lex Leisure
Salary: Competitive
Location: West Bridgford, Nottingham, UK

Team Leader

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive Salary
Location: Fareham, UK

Membership Sales Advisor

Legacy Leisure
Salary: Competitive
Location: Maidenhead, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £9.00 per hour
Location: Berkshire, Reading, UK
training with sports management

SOHO Store Supervisor

Circadian Leisure Trust
Salary: up to £17,432.12
Location: Bradley Stoke, Bristol, UK

Customer Services Advisor

Circadian Leisure Trust
Salary: Competitive
Location: Yate, Bristol, UK

Customer Services Advisor

Circadian Leisure Trust
Salary: £8.21 - £8.70
Location: Bristol, UK

Climbing Instructor

GLL
Salary: Up to £9.00 per hour
Location: Amersham, Buckinghamshire, UK

Ice Assistant

GLL
Salary: Up to £8.21 per hour
Location: Swindon, Wiltshire, UK

Duty Manager

Mytime Active
Salary: £20,000 - £25,000 per annum
Location: Bromley, UK

Recreation Assistant / Lifeguard

Mytime Active
Salary: £17,076.80 per annum pro rata
Location: Bromley, UK
lifeguard jobs  swimming teacher jobs  recreation assistant jobs  apprenticeships jobs  personal trainer jobs  Gymnastics Coach jobs  duty manager jobs  assistant manager jobs  general manager jobs  assistant general manager jobs  Customer Services Advisor jobs  Catering Assistant jobs 
More jobs

Video Gallery

Wattbike
Introducing two new products to our commercial fleet.
Visit website
More videos

Company profile

Company profile: Core Health & Fitness
Core Health & Fitness is the world’s largest privately-held marketer and distributor of commercial fitness solutions to health clubs, community recreational centres, hotels, government, educational facilities and more.
View full profile >
More company profiles

Featured Supplier

Not all functional training areas are created equal
In the last few years, the rise in popularity of functional training has been significant and operators are providing more space for functional training, both on the gym floor and in group training and studio settings.
View full details >
More featured suppliers

Diary dates

21-22 Nov 2019
JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort, Aventura
29 Nov 2019
The King’s Fund, London, United Kingdom
10-12 Dec 2019
tbc, Fort Lauderdale, United States
29-30 Jan 2020
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
More diary dates