Friday, 27 July 2012

Get set for a sporting summer

Tonight's the night.  The 2012 London Olympics officially begin.  A truly momentous, once-in-a-lifetime occasion.

Is anyone excited about this sporting extravaganza that will be taking place across the capital (as well as other parts of the country)?  This summer has so far been an amazing one for our sportsmen and women; Andy Murray making it to the final of Wimbledon; Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France...who knows what will happen next??!

Both my husband and I are both keen for our children to get involved in sport.  We think it's important for them to be active and learn about healthy lifestyles.  It can be very easy to slump in front of a TV all day, or be driven around instead of walking but we want to encourage our children to have the sort of childhoods we both had; running around with friends, cycling, or playing football or rounders in the park.

As you will know, my daughter's recently started swimming lessons and she loves them.  Her one-year-old brother is already desperate to join her.  Neither of them see swimming as a form of exercise; to them it's fun.  And that's the best way to look at it.

Judy Murray, mum to tennis players Andy and Jamie, agrees.  She's developed an initiative called Set4Sport to encourage parents to play with their children so that exercise becomes a way of life from an early age.  It's all about little, inexpensive games that families can do together and that children will find fun while also keeping them active. 

I had the pleasure of seeing Judy talking about this and demonstrating some of these activities at BritMums Live last month and I was lucky enough to be able to ask her a few questions about it all at the start of this week.  Here's what Judy had to say:

"Set4Sport is a collection of some of the fun games that we played at home as a family when Jamie and Andy were very small.  They were all created either in the house or garden [with] everyday household objects in order to keep two lively little boys busy and active, at minimal expense!  By playing these kind of games regularly with your kids, parents can help them develop the physical skills they need to be able to play any sport reasonably competently when they are older."

It's certainly an admirable idea, especially when you consider that government cuts are reducing the amount of sport being played in schools and the time that P.E does get seems to be ever-squeezed.  Plus, there are the never-ending media reports of an obesity epidemic sweeping the nation, including our children.

Judy and her team have not only produced a book outlining the sorts of games mums and dads can play with their children, but they've also created a website as well as apps for smartphones, iPhones and iPads.  The best thing is, all of them are free!

So really, we have no excuse.  Let's not just cheer on our athletes from our sofas.  Let's get up, get active and perhaps even encourage our little ones to be sporting stars of the future!

You can find out more about Set4Sport on their website or via their Facebook page.


  1. Oh brilliant! I didn't realise she was there. Very excited now - gutted I didn't see the opening ceremony though

  2. Yes, Judy did a demonstration of Set4Sport before the speakers began on Friday afternoon. And what do you mean you missed the opening ceremony? What on earth could be more important?


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