Get inspired by a summer of sport!
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Get inspired by a summer of sport!

2015 looks set to be another glorious summer of sport. The Women’s World Cup has started well, Wimbledon is just around the corner, and there’s an Ashes series and the Open to look forward to. Not to mention the Rugby World Cup, with matches played up and down the country. The Tour of Britain beckons in September, the Olympic Park is set to play host to the Anniversary Games, and the EuroHockey Championships are coming to London too.

With such an abundance of world-class sport on the horizon, and no school to distract them, it’s a prime time for children to develop new obsessions. Whether it’s hurtling around the park like Bradley Wiggins, knocking it for six like Jos Buttler or finding the back of the net like Fran Kirby, new ambitions will arise and new heroes will be emulated.

And that raises a tricky question. We all know that it’s important to encourage our children when they show an interest in something – especially when it’s a sporting something, with all the added health benefits. But we also know that children go through phases. What’s captivating and exciting today isn’t necessarily captivating and exciting tomorrow. So, how to fuel that spark of enthusiasm, without buying a full set of golf clubs or a dressage pony on day one?

A good place to start is your local sports centre. Chances are they’ll offer taster courses over the summer break – a 3-day introduction to trampolining, for example, or a week-long holiday club with the opportunity to try lots of sports. Schemes like that offer a commitment-free and relatively inexpensive way for children to try out new sports, and they’re great for making new friends.

And if they catch the bug? A good next step is to find a local club. They’ll be able to provide coaching, competition and community. And, thanks to the internet, they’re much easier to find than you might think! Websites such as the BBC’s Get Inspired feature introductions to different sports and give details of activities near you. Be Inspired does a similar job.

Hundreds of sportspeople, and thousands of fans, await the outcome of this summer of sport. Who knows what it might mean for your child?

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