A recurring idea in this issue is how organized sports make for a more well-rounded and responsible child. We couldn’t agree more with this. Along with providing some gains throughout their development into adulthood and looking great on a college application, sports have an amazing overall effect on a young person.
When I was in high school in the early 2000’s in Orlando, Florida, we were lucky to have an abundance of lakes and a pretty well-respected crew team. It sounds like a very posh sport I know, but this wasn’t really the case in the South. It was a newer sport, with most of the rowing programs in the state only being in existence for only 10-20 years. This is nothing compared to some of the prep schools we would compete with when traveling to the Northeast.
I loved being a part of something bigger than myself. The daily practices throughout the entire school year (the season was year-round) designed to push us to our physical limits, and the people all played a significant role in my development as a young adult.
But, it was probably the relationship we all had to our coach that had the most significant impact on our performance in and outside the boat. He was always there to push us along and was very strict when it came to our studies, checking our report cards every quarter, and was also aware if we got into any trouble at school. He was revered by all in the community, for his obsession with the sport and the positive impacts he had on many young lives. Some students would go on to receive significant scholarships and row at top universities, but all learned about the selflessness required to be a part of a team, which he perfectly personified through the countless hours of work he put into this motley crew of teenagers.
In this issue, we got to experience firsthand some of the people in Beijing’s community that personify this sort of involvement, along with the athletes benefiting from the mindfulness and structure that athletics can provide. In Schooled (p34) we talk with a handful of international school coaches about their views on the benefits of physical education. In Food for Thought (p22), Chef Pauline shares her high-energy snacks to keep your kid in the game. Then finally, in our cover feature, we cover some of the winter sports that have been gaining popularity in China in the years leading up to the 2022 Winter Olympics (p46). This and more should give you a clear idea about the importance of competitive play in your child’s life, and how we could all use a little more “fun and games.”
Featured photo: Dave’s Studio
This article appeared on p5 of beijingkids November 2017 issue.
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