I have recently met several wonderful fellow mumtrepreneur and Lesley and I clicked straight away! Lesley set up Fit4tots with Sarah Dineen and as a mother I love anything that gets kids moving. So instead of me rabbiting on and on I am just handing over to the lovely Lesley Waldron.
I received a request to guest blog for the lovely Laura as I was watching my son’s swimming lesson. He’s 3 and an active boy. I love watching him play with balls and run around like a crazy thing. He’s blessed with naturally good coordination and plenty of opportunity to practice a variety of skills and activities at pre-school and at home. But when I watch him in the pool it’s very different, and that difference is confidence. I realised that although we are active as a family we haven’t done a huge amount of swimming with him and that it’s an important life skill. So, he’s cautious and uncertain in the water and the others in his class are more confident and a lot splashier than he is.
What I love is that he is learning some important skills here – that practice will help him get better, that even if he isn’t the best in the class he can still improve and will receive positive encouragement, and I hope he will have a positive association with swimming for life.
I’m on a bit of mission to create that positive association with physical activity and sport for pre- schoolers, and not just my own. I run classes that are designed to give children as young as 2 the chance to practice and improve the skills of agility, balance and coordination, to associate these with fun, with sports and help them look forward to and enjoy PE and sports in and out of school. Children get lots of positive praise, as well as the opportunity to work as a team or in pairs, and learn that all important skill of turn-taking (not an easy thing for a 2 year old I tell you!).
Did you know that over 60% of children don’t get enough physical activity a day (3hrs plus for pre- schoolers, at least 1 hr for children over 5). And that a lack of physical activity in the population as a whole is having an impact on our life expectancy. It’s scary stuff. Parents, teachers, sports coaches and health professionals all have an important role to play in encouraging children to move more and enjoy a variety of physical activities. There are some great resources out there – from Change for Life online, to a variety of companies like my own promoting and encouraging families to find the fun in fitness and sport. It’s individuals like my son’s swimming teacher who can really inspire for life – I hope she realises the value and importance of her role.
Lesley Waldron Fit4Tots