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The Importance of Sports for Children

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Posted on 8/5/2013


Child Development Through Sports

In the countries where ChildFund works, millions of children live in poverty and lack access to education, health care and nutritious food. And beyond depriving children from these more tangible needs, poverty also deprives them socially. Many kids living in poverty don't have the clothing or equipment they need to play sports, so they play with improvised materials — like a spare tire or a homemade soccer ball. And while this kind of innovation and creative thinking is a great skill too, every child deserves to have the resources they need to play and grow in a safe, carefree way.

A boy plays soccer with a red homemade ball outside in Zambia.

Harrison, 6, plays soccer with a homemade ball outside his house in Zambia.

A child builds social skills by playing with other kids in an environment where they can form friendships and have fun. Sport and physical activity are built into many of ChildFund's programs, and we worked with World Rugby to develop and implement our innovative sport for development program ChildFund Pass it Back

A girl in a green jersey plays rugby in Vietnam.

Mai plays rugby as part of ChildFund's Pass it Back program in Vietnam. 

The Benefits of Sports for Kids

The importance of sport in a child's live can't be underestimated. Sports are a great way for children to learn essential life skills that will serve them in later life, such as teamwork and cooperation. It teaches kids how to persevere, how to win with humility and lose with grace. If you've ever played a sport, take a moment to think about how that experience shaped you, and what it taught you. 

A group of kids plays basketball, crowded street in the Philippines.

A group of kids plays basketball on a crowded street in Manila, Philippines.

We hear all the time from our sponsors the different ways they build connections with their sponsored children, and one of the first things they often find they have in common is sports! Take sponsor Chris Grecco for example, whose love for soccer has taken him around the world, and helped him connect with Henry, his sponsored child in Uganda. 

Sport is a great connector. It helps a child connect her body with her brain. It helps him connect with his peers. And it can help you build a connection with a child in need today