In recent months, there have been many different people proposing their fears about how much time children are spending online, that they will become couch potatoes and also be exposed to a lot of questionable influences. However, like it or not, it is a fact that the digital age is here, it is booming and it is being embraced with open arms by kids and young people. So, how can we use it as a positive? After all, there are many sites and platforms that actually promote positive behaviours and turn otherwise mundane or boring things, into fun activities.
Sports are, first and foremost, about fun, which can be hard to remember in the highly competitive world that we live in! There is a lot of emphasis on winning, and less on the taking part, a lot of parents dream of their children being awarded sports scholarships, or embarking on a professional sporting career, meaning it is very easy to unknowingly pressure them until playing a sport becomes more of a duty they have been assigned than something for them to just enjoy!
It is the same for those who are never picked for teams, who don't make the cut or are thought to be very physically weak. Fear of rejection and exclusion for these children is very real, with 70% of children feeling so pressured to excel in sport, they cease to take part from as young as 13 years old, according to the Washington Post.
The consequences of a high dropout rate need no introduction, but are still alarming. Since the 1970's there has been a dramatic rise in cases of Childhood Obesity, with Medical News Today reporting it at a 70% increase. Obvious causes of this are a poor diet and lack of physical activity, which can lead to a shortened life expectancy.
According to Obesity Action, who are a public awareness group, technology is the main competitor with sport for our kids attention, leading them to call for integration between the two. And that is where we, Fanzland, come in!
We will provide a global sports platform for young people all over the world, helping to encourage participation, provide inspiration and give personalised coaching advice. Everyone is welcome, mums, dads and those with disabilities, as there is something for everyone! Instead of portraying sport as something to be won, we are making everyone a winner and bringing the fun back into it!
A big talking point in 2015 was the UN's 17 goals to make the world a better place. They laid out a number of objectives, that require everyone to participate and that should be an example of how we live our lives- everyone should be able to participate in whatever they choose to, regardless of ability.
Fanzland will contribute to global sustainability by addressing some of the vital issues raised in the UN's checklist, such as:
1. Good Health and Wellbeing
2. Quality Education.
3. Gender Equality.
4. Reduced Inequalities.
By putting the fun back into sport and encouraging participation, we contribute to a healthier and happier population. We know that not all children are lucky enough to live in communities with access to sports facilities or coaching, but internet access is the norm nowadays and the wealth of information available makes almost everything more accessible to everyone. A healthy mind and body makes kids more able to realise their full potential. We will help kids to find a sport or activity that they love, and are more likely to continue with. We also aim to encourage women and girls to participate, whilst highlighting the many amazing achievements of women in sport. The disabled are also among those who struggle to find sporting activities that they can be a part of. We aim to put these issues into the spotlight, therefore helping those with a disability to find role models and activities that suit them best.
We aim to become a global influence that can really make a difference to young people and how they see sport. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see what we have planned next!