Kids Get Inspired by the Olympics

Olympic games encourage kids to exercise

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Wondering how to get a couch potato kid up and running? Switch on the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and encourage them to try something new and exciting.

Sports experts have suggested using the multiple hours of televised Olympic Games to inspire kids to participate in athletics.

Even if they eventually want to play something more mainstream, niche sport exposure could still be beneficial.

"All children need daily exercise and a healthy diet."

Lauren Whitt, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Wellness coordinator, and Stacey Torman, director of UAB’s Olympic sports enhancement, spoke out to encourage people to get their kids to watch the 2012 Olympic Games.

“The Games are a great chance to pique kids’ interest in sports they don’t see every day on television or in their communities.” said Dr. Whitt.

“You never know when your kid might excel at something that is just outside the norm; challenge them to try new sports and activities and expand their horizons.”

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, held in London, England, will begin on July 27th. The NBC television station will bring over 272 hours of sports coverage through August 12th.

Torman makes the point that playing one sport can help enhance performance in another sport. She said, “Learning different skills can be useful if a child decides to play basketball or football.”

“Niche sports can enhance them physically, teach hand-eye coordination and help them learn different movement patterns.”

“There may not be college scholarships for events such as archery or cycling, but if you know there’s some way you can get your child involved in that sport, encourage it.”

Torman goes on to suggest that both watching the Olympics and participating in Olympic sports within the community could help inspire kids to dream of making it to the Olympics themselves.

Dr. Whitt added that no matter what, kids get terrific health benefits from playing sports. They also learn leadership skills and how to work with others to achieve a common goal.

Jack Newman, CEO of Austin Tennis Academy, said, “The Olympic games are a great opportunity for parents to kick start their youngsters' interest in sport.”

“The best 64 tennis players in the world, men and women, will represent their countries in an attempt to win an Olympic Gold medal in singles, doubles and mixed doubles tennis. Tennis has been called the sport of a lifetime because people can play from 8-80 years of age. Use the Olympics as a springboard to rekindle your own fitness by playing tennis.”

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
July 19, 2012
Last Updated:
April 1, 2013