Thanking Our Parents
When we provide sporting opportunities for young children aged 5-9, even in a local community setting, we need adult guardians to bring the children along each week. My experience is adults instinctively do this with boys at a young age but are much slower to do it with girls. In disadvantaged areas, sport is often seen as a priority for boys because participation is often seen as a means of keeping boys “out of trouble”. Sometimes only one adult is available to bring children to sport or there may not be a car in the household. Usually, girls are the ones that lose out when these factors exist as their brothers are prioritised with sporting opportunities. Many adults also have the mistaken view that girls don’t enjoy sport as much as boys.
Over the last two years, Project Fun Direction has sought to address all of these issues but we also see evidence of them every week. Equally we have been very lucky to meet many parents (and grandparents) who value the opportunity we provide and understand the role sports participation can play in their young girls’ development. Many of these parents are our biggest advocates and are consistent supporters.
As we wrap up 2016, we paid a small acknowledgment to our most consistent attenders, when we presented them with a gift from sportswomen.ie, a website that promotes better media coverage of women’s sport and participation in Ireland. I hope none of our parents will begrudge our singling out of Esther, Edel and Natallia but we do hugely value all their efforts to bring the girls to our activities week-in, week-out ! The project wouldn’t exist without them and their feedback and interest levels has been a great source of encouragement and ideas for us.
Here’s to all parents out there bringing kids to sport and physical activity through thick and thin in all weathers !