Health, Fitness & Sport..
Promoting personal sport is promoting personal health - And personal health is a key aspect of reducing future health costs..
We evolved as Hunters. (trim, fit and very active) It is not a coincidence that fit, trim folk require very little health care, even in old age. Conversely, it is also understandable that overweight 'couch-potatoes' usually have terrible (and very expensive) health problems in later life.
Thousands of Research Doctors are warning us that the future health care costs for our current obese children will be in the trillions of dollars!
Sadly, it is also predicted that huge numbers of these children will die before their parents!
The importance of regular and affordable sport for our youth is obvious! We (the western world) could save ourselves 100 billion dollars a year in health care costs by investing just 20 billion in subsidized sporting venues like Squash and other indoor sports.
The Farmers of 100 years ago had an average lifetime health care cost (adjusted for inflation) of just one percent of the projected cost of todays overweight 'baby boomers'!
For many of them, there were only three times when a GP was required.. When they were born, when they fell off a horse and when they died. (usually in their sleep.)
The key difference between their lifestyles and ours is.. Exercise (hard work), Natural Food, Moderation, and Low Stress.
We should give a high priority to.. Natural Food; Moderation; Exercise (via sport); Close families; Productive labor; Mental Health.
These 'ways of life' are historically natural to man but not 'natural' to our modern life style. The required infrastructure and incentives might be expensive - but, if successful, will save ten times that cost. (The projected future health-care costs for the overweight western world exceeds a trillion dollars annually!)
Fitness & Sport..
In the last five years, the western world has spent almost a trillion dollars on Professional Sporting facilities. Most of these facilities only allow the public to SIT and WATCH.
Professionals are not the ones in desperate need of some exercise - All that money did nothing to improve the fitness and life-expectancy of the rest of us! Greece spent billions (they didn't have) on Olympic facilities that are now growing weeds and are padlocked up!
Bushwalking.. Combining Fitness and Appreciation of Nature..
Time spent in a Gym is very boring - and life is too short for "boring"..
Most folk need more Fitness AND more time spent appreciating Nature.. Bushwalking with a local club satisfies both those needs and has the additional benefit of 'like-minded' friendship and fun!
Your local club has decades of experience.. They know all the great spots to visit; They know all the 'Level 1, beginner' walks and all the Level 12, super-walks.. Also, they usually provide transport to a 'walk' from a common meeting place. Forget looking for a diet that can extend your life by 10 years! Look for your local 'Bushwalking club' instead!
Google search "Bushwalking clubs"..
Children and Role models..
Children need to have role models that inspire and excite them, they need to be continually exposed to a large circle of older friends and family who are strong and 'sporting fit'. Several times per week, they need to be tempted to join in with some back yard or street sport. (Non-contact).
Children & Litigation..
*** With school children, the law is more protective and the potential for massive future compensation payouts faced by Schools and Colleges is becoming alarming.
Any school that has a history of encouraging children to participate in contact sports is liable to be successfully sued by any student who suffers a life-long injury. Even with sunburn, it is the schools responsibility alone to prevent sunburn, it is NOT the Parents responsibility - they are not there - and School responsibility always overrides that of the Parent. Even the parent having signed a 'consent form' makes very little difference in a court of law.
With School Sporting injuries, parental consent forms carry little weight in court. What DOES 'carry weight' is "Majority Medical opinion". In other words, if the majority of Doctors would not play or allow their children to play Rugby Union then schools can be sued for encouraging children to play that sport.
PS.. There is no need to 'get children started early' in those sports, there are hundreds of examples where current world-class players didn't start playing until they were of college age.