The next time you’re waking up at 5 a.m. to get your child to her swim practice, or huddled freezing under a blanket watching your daughter’s soccer match and wondering if it’s all worth it, chew on this: according to a two-year study conducted by the University of Wollongong (UOW) in Australia, “girls who take up a team sport before the age of eight and continue for at least two years are likely to be healthier, have better relationships, and do better at school.”
Here’s some more good news. Even though the data shows girls benefit more than boys, your sons’ participation in team sports will also foster the results found for girls; an increased quality of life “relating to their physiological, social, emotional, and school functioning.”
The research noted that while all sports are beneficial, it was particularly advantageous to girls that they take part in team sports.
And according to this Forbes article they will take these benefits into adulthood, giving those who have participated in team sports the edge in the working world.
“In 2002, a study by mutual fund company Oppenheimer revealed that a shocking 82% of women in executive-level jobs had played organized sports in middle, high, or post-secondary school. Moreover, nearly half of women earning over $75,000 identified themselves as ‘athletic’.”
Women who played team sports as girls were able to use what they learned on the field in the boardroom; learning to recognize strengths in their colleagues, how to handle different personalities, and the importance of teamwork to overall success.
So there’s something to keep you going the next time your alarm goes off at the crack of dawn and you feel like throwing it across the room. Who knows? You might find all that teamwork translates to your kiddo getting along better with her siblings, too. Ok, maybe that’s a long shot, but it certainly can’t hurt.
Do your girls play team sports? What are their favourites? Tell us in the comments below, on Facebook, or send us a tweet.