Whether you’re watching a global affair like the Olympics, a fierce rivalry between teams, witnessing an underdog exceed expectations or a spectacular show of athleticism – there’s nothing quite like sports to bring people together. Sports provide inspiration, distraction and entertainment, even if it’s for a short period of time. Did you know that the FIFA World Cup is the biggest sporting event on the planet? The average number of viewers tops out at more than three billion people – connecting countries and dissolving borders every four years. It’s spectacular.
The 2022 Olympic games just finished, we’re entering March Madness and there’s a whole lineup of sporting events to look forward to throughout the year. So how do major sporting events impact young people? A UK survey after the 2012 London Games established that nearly three-quarters of live spectators under 25, and half of TV viewers under 25, felt inspired to participate in sport after the event. Witnessing a major sporting event, whether in person or on TV, brings people together – it’s incredibly exciting, inspiring, motivating and has the power to influence beyond the game.
Star Athletes as Role Models
Like celebrities, talented athletes rise to fame and become extremely influential to fans both young and old. Have you ever followed the career of an athlete? Remember how the whole world came together to grieve Kobe Bryant when he passed in a tragic accident? How about celebrating the success of Tom Brady, who was the 199th overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft?
Kids look up to sports influencers as athletes and as human beings – they shape fashion trends, music preferences and so much more. In fact, global corporations and prominent brands have utilized the celebrity of athletes to inspire and influence behavior for a very long time. But famous athletes can also have an important impact on societal issues, controversial topics and more.
One incredible example of a star athlete making an impact is when gymnastics gold-medalist Simone Biles stepped down from an Olympic event to focus on her mental health. Issues like depression, anxiety and overwhelming stress were on display on the world stage and fans everywhere received the message loud and clear – it’s ok to ask for help and prioritizing mental health is important. Biles is 24 years old; she made her Olympic debut in 2016 where she earned her first gold medal at the young age of 19.
Have you ever watched an incredible display of athleticism and thought to yourself, “I want to do that!” Well, watching the Olympics, or other similar sporting events, where the world’s greatest athletes compete against each other is the epitome of inspiration. Imagine witnessing greatness through the eyes of a child who is then given the opportunity to try and replicate that success.
Of course, sometimes there could be an alternate effect – where young athletes feel discouraged and give up on sport because they feel that level of athletic success is unattainable. This is where friends and family members play a big role in encouraging kids to have fun, keep it simple and enjoy the process rather than fixating on a specific outcome.
These events have the power to stir and stimulate the minds of its young spectators. To turn that inspiration into action and motivation, sports exploration must be made possible for all kids. Freedom of choice and access to quality instruction are essential in the process of self-discovery, especially for children just starting to realize their own passions and potential. Hiveclass makes this possible at a low cost, giving kids the opportunity to try out a variety of sports and activities at their own pace.
What’s better than freedom of choice and access to quality instruction?