While I am down at athletics on a Saturday morning, I at times, have the opportunity to take some time away from the track and walk around to view some of the groups. I wouldn’t say I am surprised but certainly pleased to see an abundance of parents helping out. This help is in the way of measuring, collecting, recording, marshalling, organising or just supervising/entertaining the children while they are waiting for their event or turn. It is so easy to stand back and let ‘someone else do it’ but that is not the case from what I’ve seen. Yes, there will be some parents who are unsure of what to do or have never done anything like this before and are a little scared to get involved incase they make a mistake but what I generally see is parents that are keen to get involved and have a go. What I don’t think these parents realise is the important and the significant impact they are making in their own child’s life.
Parental involvement is associated with success. Parental engagement enhances those important values, attitudes and behaviours that we expect our children to have and this can positively influence a child’s outcome in sport. It is also adding to their social development. Let’s face it, children just enjoy having their parents around to cheer them on, meet their friends, have a laugh and get involved in something outdoors. I will also add that parental support and engagement encourages enjoyment and enthusiasm for the sport that the child is participating is, which again increases their participation rates in the sport and their success. It also boosts their self esteem and the children’s confidence to know that their parents are there to support them. I’ll admit that when I participate in team sports I enjoy having my children come and watch me. They cheer for me, provide me with positive feedback (although they can also be my harshest critics) and are generally excited to see me getting involved in sport. Pretty much the same way we are about our own children.
What I see when I walk around that athletics field every Saturday is just that…support, encouragement, community, enthusiasm and participation. It is why we as committee members do what we do each Saturday (and other days of the week) and it makes the unpaid, thankless job seem worthwhile.
Thank you to all of our parent helpers, age managers and athletes who help and support Mudgeeraba Little Athletics. We can not do what we do with out you.