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Recently I've been wondering if we don't encourage children to take part in running/athletics at an early enough age?
My son is now 5 years old, and having watched me plod round at the back of our local cross country races last winter, he is desperate to take part in Athletics/Running as he thinks it looks like great fun. But no local running or athletic clubs will take a child under the age of 8.
When you compare this minimum entry age to other sports such as our local football clubs most of whom hold Saturday morning sessions for 3 & 4 year olds, and our local Rugby club who start coaching on Sundays at the age of 4, I wonder if this has a detremental effect on our future athletics/running squads?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating that we get children into running clubs or athletics clubs and have them doing lots of hard long sessions, but I do wonder if we could have them in at a younger age and work on their co-ordination (throwing and jumping events), speed, agility, and posture while letting them enjoy trying the different events?
Does ignoring children to the age of 8 or 9 mean that a lot of children join local football/rugby clubs at the ages of 3/4/5 and therefore not think of trying athletics/running until they get encouraged to try it once in the latter years of Junior school or younger years of senior school? By which time a lot of them have found sports, joined teams, and made friends in other sports and thus don't want to try atheltics/running?
Just wondered what some of you think?