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Child development and sport

A new study shows that playing sport has a positive impact on child development.

Posted: 8 October 2007
by Monica Stylli

Child development
A recent study carried out by Henley Centre Headlightvision for HSBC found that 8 out of 10 people believe sport helps to teach children important ‘life skills’. These include decision making, initiative, fair-play and self-confidence.

It has been suggested that certain sports can be linked to specific values such as:

  • Football to teamwork and passion
  • Athletics to self-confidence and humility
  • Golf to integrity and decision making

These are just some of the conclusions being drawn by a leading psychologist after it was revealed different sports can have a significant and unique impact on a child's development.

The top three values most associated with football were the ability to work with others, passion and leadership. The same trio also applied to rugby union, underlining the set of values learnt through team sports.

For individual sports such as athletics, the top three most associated values were self-confidence, perseverance and passion. For golf it was perseverance, decision making and self-confidence.

Despite the high importance attributed to sport, over half of parents surveyed (55%) have never watched their children participate. Lack of suitable facilities seems to be a barrier to involvement, with 53% believing that there are not enough opportunities for young people to take part in sport where they live.

Henley Centre HeadlightVision carried out online interviews with more than 1,800 adults in the UK, US and China.

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