Getting involved in sports and physical activity will always be great for your physical and mental health. While getting involved in your local sports scene may sound intimidating, it can be a great way to get to know people from your community whilst improving your health and wellbeing. 2
In this guide, we will detail the best ways you can get involved in the sports scene of your local community, giving you an understanding of how organised community sport participation can positively impact your life.
The first step to getting involved in local organised sport is to find an activity that suits you. Getting involved with a group sporting activity can be scary enough, so the sport you choose must be something you enjoy and feel at ease with doing.
Aside from enjoyment, it would help to consider which activity is best for your physical well-being. Choosing a sport that challenges you can be nice, but it is essential that the training isn't too strenuous. Whether you're an avid ice hockey player, football fanatic, or skilled tennis player, there will be a sport out there that suits you!
To help you make your decision, it can help to look at the trends within your community. As a broad overview, the most popular sports in Australia are football (particularly in regional victoria with the AFL victoria), rugby, golf and tennis.
Finding the motivation to get active can be the most challenging part, but once you find it, you will be flying! Looking at success stories for people of your age group and local sports participation can be an excellent way to do this and will provide you with real-life examples of your interests.
To take your inspiration a step further, you can also look into some fitness pages on social media that may keep your momentum going in the long haul. Whilst following fitness influencers can have positives and negatives; there are some more genuine social media pages that work hard to promote physical activity and ways to improve mental health that can be beneficial to have on your radar.
Once you have decided on your favourite sport that you'd like to participate in, now is the time to look at where you can pursue this activity! An excellent place to start will be checking in your local community centres, gyms, and Facebook community groups.
Usually, these communities will allow you to sign up for new sports by submitting a form with your details or adding you to their Facebook page. Of course, rules will differ depending on location and group size, but it will usually be a straightforward process that you can get involved in easily.
Alternatively, you can consider the Australian Sports Commission. Their page has a detailed overview of national sporting organisations that you can look into, whilst their website has a clear goal to encourage participation and get more of the public involved in sport. They have an entire sports volunteering section in which young people and more experienced individuals can participate.
Sport Australia also has a section in which parents can consider enrolling their children if they want their kids to become more involved in physical activity participation. In addition, they have both a sports development program and information regarding sporting activities in secondary schools.
When it comes to getting involved in sports, many of us get a bit too excited and jump ahead before we know how to. However, getting adequately involved in the sport and learning the ropes is essential to prevent the chances of developing an injury or missing out on any fundamental knowledge you should have when beginning your sporting journey.
Often, when you get too ahead of yourself when starting a new sporting hobby, you give up a lot easier due to injuries and other factors. The recreation victoria's joint research report illustrates that participation rates dropped significantly back in 2020 when we can also pin the blame on the pandemic and other setbacks the local sports industry faced. Their summary outlines key findings, such as Victoria having a more significant participation rate than Melbourne.
If you try out a sporting group yourself and don't love it but still want to be involved in this forward-thinking health and wellbeing movement, volunteering can be a great thing to do. With motivational and encouraging sporting volunteers, we stand a better chance of seeing sports participation rates rise and participants stay within these groups for a longer time.
Sport Australia has an essential skills course that can help anyone looking to improve their physical literacy before becoming a volunteer. After all, you must be confident in yourself and your abilities before assisting others.
Volunteering is also a great option for anyone who can't get physically involved for health reasons or other physical restraints, ensuring that no one has to miss out on this essential and fun element of community and local life.
If you are reading our guide because you would like your children to start participating in local sports, the best place for you to find information on this will be at their school. So whether you would like them to find a club for after school hours or would like them to get talking to their classmates to find out about the best weekend sporting organizations, school is a hub for this information!
On the other hand, you can also find this information by checking the school's website and social pages or by asking fellow parents and teachers about their recommendations; there is bound to be someone who can point you in the right direction!
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