Sport has long been touted for its physical benefits - better cardiovascular health, improved lung function, reduction in obesity levels, and so much more. However, the benefits of sport stretch far beyond just its physical impacts. Sport plays an important role in community development and having accessible sports facilities can make all the difference.
The community-wide benefits of sport cannot be understated. Starting with the individual, playing sport (particularly on a team) teaches the values of goal-setting, teamwork, mutual respect, leadership and healthy relationships. When adolescents are exposed to sport at an early age, they learn and internalise these values that will carry on through adulthood.
Sport provides a sense of belonging to individuals. It promotes unity, high-self esteem, and inclusion -- all of which are essential particularly for at-risk youth who could be prone to anti-social behaviour. Particularly in an age where violent video games cause concern to parents, child psychologists, and more, having a healthy and nonviolent outlet for young people is increasingly valuable.
Multiple studies have illustrated that sport is a key contributor to reducing physical and verbal violence in at-risk youth (if you're interested in learning more, take a look at this study as well as this resource from the United Nations). Not only does sport teach valuable life skills, it also provides a physical space for young people in the community to congregate in a healthy manner -- deterring drug usage, risky, and dangerous behaviour.
Encouraging people in the community to engage and participate in sport also brings substantial benefits to the mental health of the population. Physical activity, particularly through sport, encourages a sense of belonging, optimism, and positive self-image in individuals. It is often used in treatments for mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, as well as being used in a preventative manner for various cognitive conditions.
By having sports facilities in a locality that are easily accessible and well-maintained, the wider community benefits long-term through the positive behavioural impacts. This also leads to a wider appreciation of the environment and upkeep of the community's spaces.
The benefits of sport may be primarily known as physical, but as we can see the impact is much greater. Sports facilities provide an incredible array of positive impacts towards the community – which is why we are here to help you make them more accessible. Want to learn more? Book a call with one of our experts. 🎾⚽️🏀