Getting your kids into a sport is an excellent way for the family to integrate into the new community and country; the kids will make friends, and hopefully Mum and Dad will also.
With the arrival of warmer weather in Australia, there will be a shift in the types of sports and activities that kids typically participate in. In Australia, the changeover from winter to spring and summer often brings about a transition in sports and recreational activities for children.
Let's explore a couple that you may not have encountered before;
Photo courtesy of SLS.com
If you head to the beach on a Sunday morning between late September and March, you'll likely see the Nippers in action.
What is it? It's a family-friendly morning for kids to learn junior lifesaving skills and to make new friends, from learning the basics of surf safety and paddle boarding to CPR and rescue training. The small kids start with races in the sand, get their feet wet, and slowly graduate to more advanced swimming and surfing skills. It's a popular and social activity for parents and kids alike.
How old are the kids? Nippers range between 5 -14 years of age, with the youngest needing a minimum of 5 years as of October 1st to join.
Do they need to be a good swimmer to join? The swim/float skills required are based on age (kids under 8 years don't need specific swim skills). The clubs run swim proficiency evaluations in the lead-up to the season, or in some cases, can be signed off by accredited swim coaches. Click here to get an idea of swim/float skills by age.
What does it cost? Each state varies on the cost; however, approximately $160 for the first child and $110 for any subsequent children/siblings. Prices may also vary slightly between clubs, and you may have to buy a rashie (swim shirt) and cap if not included in the membership.
How do I sign up? To find out more about becoming a nipper or to find your local surf lifesaving club. click here
Does this mean my kid might end up being on Bondi Rescue? The surf lifesavers on that show are employed (and paid), whilst the nippers who graduate can become volunteer surf lifesavers, a very well-respected part of the community. Graduation at Nippers takes place in the U14's, after they take their SLS Surf Rescue Certificate and join a Patrol team at their local club. Graduating is optional, with most kids dropping off before this when school and other sporting commitments take over.
Photo courtesy of Little Athletics Australia.
What is it? Little Athletics is an excellent activity for children aged between 5 and 17.
It's a perfect way to learn the fundamental motor skills to assist them long into their futures. It's a fun, social and active program for girls and boys. The program teaches various event skills, from running, jumping and throwing.
How do I enrol? Each state of Australia will have their State-specific enrolment process; however, please click here as a starting point.
Do my kids have to be good at running? Little Athletics is for every skill level and perfect for developing motor skills, socialising and excellent exercise.
What does it cost? The costs vary for each state, and you are encouraged to check with the local club in your state for the correct fees.
What do I need to bring? Once you enrol, your local team will advise on the team uniform and sports shoes. It's always good to have a sun hat, sunscreen and plenty of water and snacks.
Photo courtesy of PlayCricket.com
A cricket match can traditionally run for quite a few hours; however, the Cricket Blast is designed to run for 60 to 90 minutes to help kids fall in love with the game.
It is fun and exciting. The kids will make new friends, learn new skills, and experience the thrill of being part of a team. Everyone welcome - Kids aged up to 10 years old
Over in a flash – 60-90 minutes of fun each session in a safe and inclusive environment
Make pals, catch skills, throw like a boss, and teamwork like a pro!
How do I enrol? Click here
No matter what sport you choose, engaging in sports benefits kids considerably, including discipline, teamwork, social bonding, cultural and social understanding, physical and emotional health, and conflict resolution. It's also an excellent way for the family unit to bond and create memories that will last a lifetime.