Parent of a sporty kid: On the side-line
I am a mother of three young children, juggling a busy (read hectic!) home life with a charming (read hopeless!) husband, 5 delightful (read messy and demanding!) pets and a job for which I feel very passionate (read passionate …my boss will likely read this too!).
So, with all the above, where are you most likely to find me early on a freezing Sunday morning? Reading the papers in bed with a nice cup of coffee with above mentioned “charming” husband? On the sofa, catching up on some TV box sets while cuddling with above mentioned “delightful” pets? On the side-line of a sport’s pitch, with frost bites to my toes and fingers while pretending to cheer on my precious offspring? The brood with endless energy wins hands down I am afraid! I am indeed one of those parents pacing on the side-lines wondering when the last blow of the whistle will rescue me from the cold.
Our family weekends are filled with tennis, athletics, cross country running, hockey and rugby. Despite sounding like I am writing a new book, every Sunday morning, entitled Diary of a Whingeing Mum, I do love my children’s energy and boundless passion for the sports they have chosen. Sport will undoubtedly shape them to be healthier, more resilient, more courageous, more ambitious, more dignified in failure, good team players with strong values and appreciation of other people. What is there not to like? Injuries maybe.
It is a fact that with sport comes the risk of injuries and as a mother I never like to have to dry my children’s tears. We have had over the years a broken arm, a broken wrist, two broken toes, fractured teeth, and numerous bruises and cuts; thankfully not all for the same child! But interestingly, only one of these more serious injuries happened while playing “organised” sport, i.e. in school or clubs. The more serious injuries happened on the beach, falling off a bike or playing with friends.
There has been a lot written about the perceived dangers for children of some contact sports like rugby and hockey, but my experience as a mother is that these sports are taught by experienced and specially trained coaches who will never knowingly allow a child to continue to play while injured or recklessly expose a child to an unreasonable risk of sports injury.
All sports, whether individual, team or contact, carry a risk of injury. Sport cannot be made totally risk free just like climbing a tree, running around in a playground or riding a bike cannot be made completely accident free. Children cannot and should not live in a protective bubble. However, my hardwired instinct is to want to nurture and protect my children from harm so I want to see risks minimized wherever and whenever possible.
Sport Injuries for children can be minimized through training and education of sport parents, coaches (in clubs and schools) and administrators. This is where my passion for my work at Return2Play comes in. I am very proud to help make my children’s sports safer and allow them to enjoy their chosen passions.