Improvement needed in access to sports and outdoor activities – AD
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Alternattiva Demokratika, in a statement, has expressed its concern with the findings of the latest Eurobarometer survey which ranks Maltese youth among the least active.
“With only 11% taking part in any sporting activity, the study’s result does not really surprise us since our society still considers physical activity as secondary in the development of youth. Unfortunately we fail to see the various longterm benefits of introducing young people to sports at an early age,” said AD spokesperson on sports and youth Luke Caruana.
“Sports can foster personal development and community skills, along with helping physical fitness,” he added. “For this reason physical and outdoor activities need to be accessible for everyone. there is too much focus on competitive sports and not enough emphasis on fun, community and informal activities.”
“Schools and local sports clubs have an integral role in introducing a wide range of sports activities at a young age,” added Caruana. “There is also a huge problem that is keeping children and young people indoors: streets are not people friendly at all. Policies for people friendly residential roads are lacking.”
“Physical education should have a bigger role in schools with an emphasis on the inclusion of students with different sporting abilities. These should include minority individual and team sports such as volleyball, judo, baseball and softball, and cycling among others.”
He continued by stressing the importance of local amateur clubs and associations, “which should be recognised by government at all levels.”
“These clubs need assistance since they cannot depend on sponsors. This should include the use of government administered sports facilities and school premises at no additional costs,” said Caruana.
He concluded by saying, “local councils also need to be involved so that different sports for people with different interests are easily accessible in our localities. With good planning neighbouring towns will be able to share facilities, making a variety of activities available and accessible throughout Malta and Gozo.”