The field of sport offers children and youngsters many possibilities for moving themselves and engaging in sporting activities
Sports clubs, sports schools, the sports and dance classes at schools and other institutions offering physical activity invite children and youngsters to become physically active and engage in sports.
According to the Estonian Sports Registry 87,270 children and youngsters participate in organised sporting activities through sports clubs; whereas 54,923 of the participants are boys and 32,347 girls.
Children and youngsters have the opportunity to learn more than 80 different sports.
The most popular sports among children and youngsters in Estonia are football, swimming, gymnastics, athletics, basketball, judo, wrestling, tennis, dance, badminton, table tennis and cycling.
It doesn’t matter which sport or other physical activity the child has selected, it is important to know that any kind of movement improves physical abilities. The more versatile movement in childhood and youth, the better are the various physical abilities of the person. Through movement and sport, children and youngsters gain various experience, feel many emotions, learn to know themselves and their peers, find new friends, and start to understand and hold dear the positive values of sports.
Although there are many opportunities in Estonia for sports and physical activity, latest studies have shown that the daily physical activity and ability of children is low. The percentage of overweight children has almost doubled in the past ten years. These figures signal a danger of increasing health risks. The direct obligation of each parent, teacher, trainer and the whole society is to encourage children and youngsters to engage more in sports and physical activity.
The announced Children and Youth Year of Culture is therefore a wonderful opportunity for emphasising the importance of sports and physical activity and to thereby help raise a generation that is healthy, happy and capable.
A famous proverb says “A sound mind in a sound body” – it the body is trained and flexible, healthy thoughts enter as if by themselves. We wish that during this year every child and youngster would find themselves a suitable sporting activity in a near-by sports club or other sporting venue.
Sports register of sporting possibilities in Estonia can be found here: https://www.spordiregister.ee/
Text by: Malle Englas, Adviser at the Sports Department of the Ministry of Culture