Opinion: Children need to take part in more sport

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I have been totally obsessed by all kinds of sport ever since I was young. I went to Stakesby primary school then on to Caedmon College.

I played both rugby and football at school. I played for Fishburn Park football team and loved it. I applied and was lucky enough to win a scholarship to the United States to study Sports Management and Human Performance after finishing school.

The main reason in going to the States to study on my scholarship was that I didn’t finish my studies with big debts. I spent four years altogether studying in America, firstly two years in Oklahoma and then a year and a half in Nebraska.

I played what they call soccer but we call football. I got totally immersed in the American lifestyle which is a very different pace of life, which is much more relaxed.

I also studied and met lots of different nationalities and managed to travel a lot while I was there. It was a great chance to see the world and broaden my horizons.

Some of my best friends were made in those years.

It was inevitable that when I returned from my studies that I wanted to work in sport and participate in organised sport as part of a team. I re-joined Whitby Rugby Club and our brilliant team have just finished fourth in the league’s second division which is the best we have done for a while.

Working with children and sport works is what I enjoy. I work in Whitby schools running general Physical Education classes aligned to the Ofsted curriculum which is very broad.

I truly believe that children today do not do enough sport, do not move around enough and need to do more.

When teaching Physical Education in schools it is obvious to me that when children have been active, they settle better into classroom activities.

When I am in schools, the most popular sessions include a variety of activities to make sure you keep the children’s attention and I encourage young girls and boys to create a competitive atmosphere so they can work on improving their skills.

Participation in group sport with a common purpose gives children the chance to experience how important working as a team can be.

As well as working in schools I run a soccer school where we offer a physical education service for primary schools, after school coaching clubs for both boys and girls.

Holidays are a great time to give children the opportunity to play sport and the younger they start the more likely they are to carry their sporting activities into adulthood.

Running active birthday parties allows children to experience what good fun exercise is. Personal training sessions also are a great way to develop a structured approach to exercise and techniques can improve more quickly.

Being active is key to keeping fit for all ages and another way I do that is at Dunsley Hall which is always busy and is where I work on the bar and front of house .