Benefits of sport to improve outcomes of young people at risk

We all know sport is great for our physical and mental health. Engaging in a team sport offers many benefits, including developing our physical skills, creating a sense of belonging, boosting our self-esteem and developing resilience and social connections. Playing sport can also help us learn to cooperate and listen to others.

These benefits should not be downplayed, especially for young people who are at risk of not being exposed to developing these skills in their own home environment.

In fact, sport and human rights advocate Craig Foster recently emphasised the importance of sport in education and awareness, highlighting sport can play a fundamental role in helping young people gain a better understanding of their rights.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states that children have the right to: live a full life and that governments should ensure children survive and develop healthily; join groups and organisations; and relax, play and join in a wide range of leisure activities – all of which sport can play a large role in.

The Charter of Rights for Youths Detained in Detention Centres also reaffirms the right for residents to get exercise and to go outside every day, except when the weather is bad. It also includes the right to participate in activities and programs that help a young person’s rehabilitation.

A UK review into how sport could stop people reoffending outlined that sport participation in prisons can contribute to reducing violence and conflict, developing communication skills and increasing opportunities for gaining education and employment upon release.

With this in mind, we were delighted to hear the Adelaide Youth Training Centre (AYTC) have recently installed football goal posts at the Goldsborough Road campus. Residents had campaigned for more opportunities to engage in sport so it is great to see they have been listened to and that their rights to participate in exercise and activities are being enhanced in this way.

Residents have told us they were happy with the addition of the new goal posts, with staff reporting residents are making good use of the new facilities and are enjoying the opportunity to be competitive with one another.

It will be interesting to hear what difference the addition of the goal posts will make in the lives of these young people within the centre.

2 Responses

  1. I agree sport is a great thing for youth but is has now become to expensive for family’s to pay for children to play sport these day’s. If a child play’s club soccer you are looking at $800 dollars per child per season at the least. I have a child that play’s state soccer for SA and i have paid nearly 20K in the last five years for a young girl to play elite sport. So many kids are missing out because of the cost to play sport it’s a sad state of affairs and is never mentioned.

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