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Getting Your Foster Child Interested in Sport

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If you are a foster carer, you are responsible for helping your foster child expand their interests and build character, nurturing their personality, and providing new opportunities for them to develop skills. Team sports have many benefits for foster children, such as interacting with others, learning to function as a member of a team, acquiring the ability to cope with success and failure, physical exercise, and a way to have fun. We look at what is involved in getting your child interested in sports.

Why Team Sports?

There are hundreds of activities a foster child can engage in with health and other benefits. Kids who are not sporty may like to do a mix of sporting activities alongside more creative pursuits.

Team sports teaches regular exercise, a health habit that can become a permanent way of life. Too many adults are sedentary. Sports in a team setting is vital to the development of social skills that will have a positive effect on collaboration in class projects.

Foster children sometimes change schools frequently if they move from one placement to another. This can exacerbate any difficulty the child has in forming friendships. But team sports bring children together, allowing friendships to form naturally.

The fostering agency you work with will let you know whether your foster child has had any experiences with sports in the past, and whether they enjoy playing a particular sport. This will ensure you continue making the sport accessible to your foster child, to provide them with a sense of continuity after they are placed with your family.

Structure and Support

If you want to encourage your foster child to play team sports, you need to provide the structure and offer them the support that they need. Merely having the opportunity to take up a sport will not make it happen, especially if the child feels insecure or lacks self-confidence.

It is up to you to find out what the opportunities are, to discuss them with your foster child, and get them to choose one or two sports to consider. Remember that the child must be allowed to exercise their choice and determine their own preferences.

You should be on the sidelines during every match, cheering them on. Make sure that they have the necessary kit and equipment to play so they are comfortable. Joining a team and being a member of the group will empower your foster child and help them to blossom off the field as well.

Finding the Right Sport

The sport that your foster child chooses to play can be something they have already expressed an interest in. It could also be something new that they would not have considered without your help. You can encourage the child to try something new by exploring new activities together as a family. Organise games at home with some of their classmates. Watch videos together on the sport.

Persevere and be supportive, and before you know it, your foster child will be playing a team sport.

Photo by Debra Brewster on Unsplash

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