Kids in sport aren’t playing to win
By Jasmine El-Rab
With all of the controversy surrounding competitive children’s sport, it seems there is a new shift in focus on playing to have fun rather than to win. Even though the South West Sydney Under 17’s boy’s hockey team lost 3-0 to the Illawarra Academy of Sport team, they walked away with a positive attitude.
The conditions were challenging at this years ClubsNSW Academy Games, with strong winds and rain threatening to impede on the game. Both teams put up a strong fight, though Illawarra were the favourites to win.
Disappointing as the loss was for the Western Sydney team, Captain Matthew Kim spoke positively of his teams efforts, saying they played well considering they played the top team and were short four teammates.
The Western Sydney team asked younger players to step up for today’s game to compensate for the loss of players due to Nationals. Players such as Norton Gray who usually plays for the Under 15’s stepped up in an attempt to help the Western Sydney team defeat the Illawarra team.
The loss, however, did not seem to dampen the spirits of Kim who did not feel overwhelmed by the game. When asked about the pressure of the game, Kim said that ‘it was more for enjoyment because no one wins, so it’s just to get together, have fun and get fit.
There is a growing awareness in younger generations for the need to have varied interests, and a focus on physical activity and healthy eating. The Academy Games provides an opportunity for players such as Kim to further their talents without sacrificing other important priorities.
When asked about what other focuses Kim has, he mentioned other sports such as athletics and rugby, as well as his schooling and friends. The ClubsNSW Academy Games provides an opportunity for outstanding athletes to showcase their abilities, whilst focusing on development and enjoyment.