Club Fun: How Wonders Does Sports
Fewer than half of children ages 6 to 11 meet the U.S. Surgeon General’s recommendation for engaging in at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. One way to address that deficit is through sport activity, especially team sports, as children often enjoy playing in groups. (source) While many children love soccer, football, and other team sports, some do not. Not every child is cut out for the growing world of competitive sports. But that’s not to say they don’t like the actual sport. Which is why Wonders offers Club Fun.
Club Fun is offered for each child enrolled in the Wonders extended day programs, in 3rd- 6th grade. Games are played with an emphasis on teamwork and great sportsmanship. Games typically last about an hour, and scores are not often kept. Club Fun offers kids the chance to learn a new skill in an environment that promotes growth and challenge, more than competition. And most importantly everyone gets equal play time in the game. Our co-ed non-competitive league promotes learning the game, sportsmanship, fair play and mainly FUN with our other Wonders extended day programs.
In a 2014 study for George Washington University, researcher Amanda Visik interviewed numerous youth athletes and asked them why they played sports, and 9 out of 10 said the #1 reason they played was it was fun! The children in the George Washington study defined fun as trying their best, being treated respectfully by coaches, parents and teammates, and getting playing time.
Through Club Fun we’ve even inspired some those reluctant to try a sport to begin playing.
“The parents are very excited about the Club Fun Sports because for some of them it is the only team their child is on and they want to be able to see more games.” – Director of JPDS Extended Day
Although we don’t emphasize the importance of scores and winning or losing there is research to say there can be something to gain from losing. Experts agree that losing at sports, no matter how unending, can allow children to learn from failure. Losing all the time builds philosophy, camaraderie, sportsmanship and the idea of athletics as a series of incremental victories. The team may falter, but teammates improve, moment by moment. (source)
Even outside of Club Fun, the children show their exemplary skills acquired through Club Fun games. At one of our extended day programs during the active choice time, the children have been learning new skills in many different games and sports with their teachers. Lately, the younger children have been wanting to improve their football skills, so we run drills and practice throwing/catching when we are outside on the blacktop. It’s great to see the way our older children interact with and teach the younger ones. Their patience and willingness to teach makes the active choice time fun for everyone.