Sporting Prowess? Maybe in the Past! – by Vicky Dal Molin
I was reading an article today, that started making me think about whether I have been wearing rose coloured classes when I think about what it would be like to raise a child in Australia today compared to here in NY. My memories of being raised in Australia are so positive and since having my son I find myself comparing it to what I see in the USA all the time. But I know that things are never quite as black and white. Things and times change and that Australia isn’t the same as when I was growing up. It too has grown and evolved. The challenge now is for me to keep up – which is not necessarily an easy thing to do.
This has all been prompted by the article: Australian kids are losing that sporting edge* and right in front of me was a statistical analysis of how things aren’t the same anymore. Here I was going around thinking (and saying) that Australian kids are sporting and fit. And why not – it’s what I remember growing up. Our school always promoted sport. I was on sporting teams from when I was young until well into high school. And Australia has some rather elite athletes. But as they performed these studies they have noticed that Aussie kid’s skills are falling behind as compared to international peers.
The studies seem to have been conducted over many years – and it goes into lots of details as to the numbers. The article doesn’t even touch on the fact that Australia is fast becoming a fast food nation much like the US and the rates of obesity (and childhood obesity) are on the rise – quickly. All changes I don’t really like to acknowledge.
It was only the past weekend while attending a track meet were we commenting on how kids sporting events seem less frequented these days – by both the kids participating and parents. Often we will be one of only a couple of parents in the crowd despite the number of participants. It goes to helping validate for me that people are seeing physical activities and active involvement in sports are less important in their kids lives. Best example starts at home. Encouraging children to be active and eat healthy starts at home – it doesn’t matter where in the world. So on this topic at least I’m starting to believe that neither is “better” – that the trend I have seen in the US is fast becoming the trend in Australia.