“Never give up. You can push yourself to reach the stars!” – MCP, age 10
“I learned that children have rights and a voice. It helped me to have confidence in myself and my abilities.”
– MCP, age 8
In 2016 children across Scotland shared experiences and aspirations for participation in sport and physical activity.
As part of the legacy of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Children’s Parliament worked with children across Scotland on the Active Children project; resulting in a mural that highlighted key messages about inclusion, support, motivation, enjoyment and the benefits of leading active lives. Forty children aged 8 to 11 took part in the project from Edinburgh, Angus, Falkirk, East Dunbartonshire and Highland.
The children emphasised that sport and physical activity should be fun and everyone should be able to participate. They wanted teammates, coaches and supporters to be positive and respectful, so that participation in sport increased their confidence. Access and affordability were also key issues for children; often they felt like their choices were limited by distance, availability and cost. Finally, whether discussing play parks or sporting venues, the children stressed how important it is for facilities to be of good quality and safe so that children could play without any worries.
From the children’s conversations during the project, Children’s Parliament have created these messages to help adults help children to lead active lives.
- Ask children about their views and experiences – whether about the sports they would like to play, how a community centre could be better or what support they need to participate and compete
- Ensure children have a choice of what sports and physical activities they want to take part in
- Highlight opportunities to get active to children and their families, especially when there are free events or activities on
- Create more opportunities for children with disabilities to get involved in sport and physical activities (i.e. swim sessions for children with autism, adapted sports for wheelchair users, etc.)
- Provide more training for coaches so that they are positive, supportive and knowledgeable and do not shout at children
- Make sure that parks are cleaner and safer so that children can play there without worries
- Ensure schools have adequate space and quality equipment for sports and other physical activities
- Make sport free or cheaper so more children and families can participate
- Be active as adults, so children see it as a normal and fun part of life. Be a role model!
Download a copy of the Active Children leaflet by clicking on the children’s mural below.
The Children’s Parliament Active Children project was delivered in partnership with Legacy 2014