Sport of some kind is almost always in the news, but it’s been a media frenzy this month. We’re talking Rugby World Cup, World Athletics Championships, World Gymnastics Championships, with names like Dina Asher Smith, Simone Biles and Katarina Johnson-Thompson sweeping the headlines.
So it’s no surprise that sport initiatives in schools are getting some serious attention.
Sport England have announced that children should be taught ‘physical literacy’ in the same way they’re taught to read and write to promote higher activity levels and increased fitness throughout life.
And if that works, young people’s engagement with exercise and sport shouldn’t end the second they’re no longer forced into PE lessons. It should become a part of life.
If you’re planning to go on to university, college and further education, there are usually loads of opportunities to get or stay involved in sport.
Think competitive uni teams, sport societies, up and coming new experimental clubs (Quidditch, extreme Frisbee, anything you can think of – and if it doesn’t exist yet, start it up yourself!)
If staying involved in sport and fitness is your priority, even if it has nothing to do with the subject you’re studying, make sure you do your research on your future options.
Some unis and colleges will have top of the range sport facilities and world-class teams. Others might care less, instead investing their money in things like theatres, cinemas, nightlife, cafes… Or you might find somewhere that offers both. All that matters is finding a place that matches you.
If you’re a sport lover who’s planning on going into the world of work or taking on an apprenticeship and are worried you’ll lose time/energy, worry not. There are lots of ways you can stay involved, and it doesn’t have to be as predictable as joining your local gym.
Look up local community sport teams to get involved with, even on a casual one night a week basis. If you’re going into employment, see if your company has their own teams, or have a chat with your colleagues to see if anyone would be interested in starting one.
Astroturf, tennis courts, gym halls and even ice rinks are often open to privately rent for a fee, which could be next to nothing when split between a group.
Think about volunteering for a local club. Get involved with sport initiatives for children and young people by signing up to help with something like All Stars cricket, a scheme that could enable you to develop your coaching and safeguarding skills.
Or maybe volunteer for your local parkrun or any events run by your nearest running team.
There are loads of options out there, and if you’re a busy bee with limited, irregular free time, something like casual volunteering and some low commitment friendly team matches might be enough to keep your love of sport alive while you’re working towards your dream future.
LUCY HARDING is an English Literature grad and an MA Publishing student at UCL. She is passionate about international relations and cultural diversity, having worked closely with her university’s Erasmus society to support European students. She also spent a year abroad studying at California State University: Long Beach
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