The perfect after school sports classes and activities for kids
How sports activities benefit children
In our competitive society, many children participate in extracurricular activities after school to gain an edge. These activities are well known to lay the foundation for the development of intelligence, personality, social behaviour and learning capacity, and as vital elements to ensure your child does not fall behind in their development.
Kids’ sports classes are no exception and there is much research that points to the ability of kids' sports classes to convey benefits in four main areas: physical, social, emotional and cognitive1. After school kids’ sports classes are well known to aid overall health and the development of children’s movement skills and physical competence. It can be argued that these are necessary, if not deterministic conditions of engagement in lifelong physical activity2.
In the social sphere, there is evidence to support claims of positive benefits from kids’ sport activities that derive from the opportunity to develop skills in leadership, decision‐making and social integration3. These resulting benefits of kids’ sports classes include higher levels of social confidence, a heightened sense of belonging and a reduced risk of negative peer influence4. Researchers Bradley and Conway reported that students who participate in high-level, competitive sports have higher self-esteem, more pronounced self-concept, and as a result more social capital5.
Kids’ sports activities have been positively associated with numerous dimensions of psychological and emotional development, most commonly improved self-esteem, fewer depressive symptoms6 and reduced social anxiety7. Extracurricular kids’ sport competitions can also teach a child how to deal with failure gracefully and effectively, channeling that energy into (sometimes literally) getting back on the horse.
There is also persuasive evidence to suggest that physical activity from kids’ sports classes can improve children’s concentration and academic performance. The correlation between motor skill development and cognitive development is well established in younger children but there is also evidence that even for primary children there is a significant correlation between motor skills and cognitive learning abilities in mathematical analysis and language comprehension8.
Studies from researchers Eccles and Barber (et al) have demonstrated that children who engage in kids’ sports classes and find that spark of interest are also likely to enjoy improved cognitive abilities and concentration, skills which translate into academic performance9. High endurance sports like 800m swimming races, long distance track and trail running for example, are known to teach concentration and resilience in the face of challenges10. Bradley and Conway linked involvement in competitive sports to students being more conscientious, efficient, organized, and systematic11. So it is not difficult to imagine how kids’ sports activities can translate into an edge as it relates to studying and sitting examinations.
What are the most popular kids’ sports activities in Asia?
The most popular kids’ sports activities in Asia vary depending on the country and culture. However, here are some sports that are generally popular among kids in different parts of Asia
- Football (Soccer): Football is a popular sport for kids in many Asian countries, including Japan, South Korea, China, and India. Many schools and youth organizations offer football programs for kids to learn and play the sport. Football is very widely played because it’s an accessible activity being relatively inexpensive to play, and doesn't require a lot of equipment or facilities. Football is also a physically demanding activity for kids that provides a great cardiovascular workout and helps kids build strength, endurance, and agility. It’s also a team sport that requires players to work together, communicate, and develop a sense of camaraderie. This can help kids develop important social skills and build friendships. Football is also an activity that requires a range of skills, including dribbling, passing, shooting, and defending. Practicing and improving these skills can help kids build confidence and develop a sense of accomplishment. Finally, football is a global sport with a rich cultural history, and it has the power to bring people together across different countries and cultures. This can help kids develop an appreciation for diversity and different perspectives.
- Badminton: Badminton is also one of the more popular kids’ sports activities in countries such as China, Indonesia, and Malaysia. It is often taught in school during kids’ sports classes and many youth badminton programs are available. Once again badminton is a very demanding kids’ activity requiring a lot of agility and endurance. The skills involved include hand-eye coordination, footwork and shot selection. Badminton can be played individually or in teams which requires cooperation and can help develop a sense of sportsmanship and fair play.
- Swimming: This is one of the more popular kids’ sports activities in many Asian countries, including Japan, South Korea, and China. Many schools and community centers offer lessons and competitive programs for kids, and it’s a sport that doesn’t require a lot of equipment making it quite accessible. It is also a low impact sport that provides kids with a full body workout including a thorough cardiovascular conditioning. By attending these kids’ sports classes, children can learn a range of skills including breath control, stroke technique, and limb coordination. Most importantly, learning to swim is a key life skill that can help keep kids safe around water. It can also give kids the confidence and skills they need to enjoy water activities safely.
- Martial Arts: These kids’ sports classes are very popular in Japan, China, South Korea, and Thailand. Many kids learn it for self-defense, discipline, and physical fitness. Self-defense skills can help children stay safe in dangerous situations and give kids a sense of empowerment and confidence when they are able to defend themselves. This art requires discipline, focus, and self-control, which can help kids develop important life skills. Through structured training or kids’ sports classes, kids learn to set goals, work hard, and stay focused, which can translate to other areas of life. It can also teach kids to respect themselves and others, and to take responsibility for their actions. This can help kids develop important character traits such as honesty, integrity, and empathy.
- Gymnastics: This is becoming one of the more popular kids’ sports classes in many Asian countries, including China, Japan, and South Korea. Many schools and clubs offer programs for kids to learn and practice. Doing such kids’ sports activities can help a child develop strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. In addition to the physical benefits, it can have a positive impact on a child's mental health. In addition, it can help reduce stress and anxiety, and improve self-esteem and confidence. Due to the discipline required to attend practice and follow rules, it can teach children important life skills such as goal-setting, perseverance and sportsmanship which can be valuable in many areas of life from academics, to personal relationships and even future careers.
Other popular kids’ sports activities in Asia include table tennis, basketball, volleyball, taekwondo, and tennis. Overall, there are many opportunities for kids to get involved in sports in Asia, and participating in kids’ sports classes can provide numerous physical, social, and emotional benefits.
The Bizibuz platform has an incredibly wide range of kids’ sports classes that are designed to heighten enthusiasm, foster leadership and teamwork, promote resiliency, and improve cognitive development. Through kids’ sports activities, children will learn to challenge themselves, build social confidence and develop healthy behaviours that will last for life, and in so doing genuinely differentiate themselves from other students.
A wide range kids’ sports classes
Sport courses for kids are stimulating, fun and teach them life skills! Our range of kids’ sport courses for kids cover diverse activities from ball sports, various styles of skating and outdoor adventures, to watersports and indoor mind-body workouts.
Kids’ sports activities and courses that promote ball skills include classes in Badminton/table tennis, Baseball/volleyball, Basketball, Bowling, Football, Golf, Multi-sport, Rugby, and Tennish/squash.
For watersports, check out Sailing, Surfing, Swimming and a catchall category called Watersports that includes activities such as canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and scuba diving, wakeboarding, and windsurfing.
Other outdoor kids’ sports activities can be found in the categories of Athletics, Cycling, Horse riding, Rock climbing and another broad category called Outdoor for activities such as trail running, hiking and forest schools.
While exam preparation and after school study are important for children, giving students the opportunity for a more balanced learning experience through an after school sport program can help them develop into more well-rounded individuals with a life-long passion outside the classroom!
Bizibuz KnowYourChild™: Find out if your child has an aptitude for sport
Our unique KnowYourChild™ tools are a series of benchmarking tools for children of different ages designed to track a child’s development, highlight necessary intervention and hidden talents, guide on activities to optimize performance and monitor the efficacy of activities over time.
These tools are developed using advanced algorithms and input from top universities including the Education University of Hong Kong and Polytechnic University and senior teachers from leading institutions including the Chinese International School and Canadian International School.
Our Primary KnowYourChild™ tool is the first of its kind to gauge the motor skill development of a child aged 6-9 years of age in order to uncover the need to address fine motor skill developmental issues or an aptitude for sport. A child is asked to perform a precision exercise that replicates tracing through the use of a computer mouse and play a series of games that measure dexterity and bilateral co-ordination through the manipulation of keys on a computer keyboard. After the child has completed the tool, parents receive a comprehensive report of their child including smart activity recommendations targeted to address either weaker areas (performance more than one standard deviation below the mean) and to foster talents (performance more than two standard deviations above the mean). If the child has previously used the KnowYourChild™ tool, the report also includes development trend analysis in order to reflect on the impact of activities previously undertaken.
Visit our KnowYourChild™ tools in order to further explore your child’s developmental progress and activity recommendations that optimize your child’s talent in sport.
1. Richard Bailey, Kathleen Armour, David Kirk, Mike Jess, Ian Pickup, Rachel Sandford & BERA Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy Special Interest Group (2009) The educational benefits claimed for physical education and school sport: an academic review, Research Papers in Education, 24:1, 1-27, DOI: 10.1080/02671520701809817
2. Rebecca Duncombe, Pat Preedy. (2021) Physical development in the early years: exploring its importance and the adequacy of current provision in the United Kingdom. Education 3-13 49:8, pages 920-934.
3. Lars Bjørke, Kjersti Mordal Moen. (2020) Cooperative learning in physical education: a study of students’ learning journey over 24 lessons. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy 25:6, pages 600-612.
4. Leonard M. Wankel & Bonnie G. Berger (1990) The Psychological and Social Benefits of Sport and Physical Activity, Journal of Leisure Research, 22:2, 167-182, DOI: 10.1080/00222216.1990.11969823
5. Bradley, J. L., & Conway, P. F. (2016). A dual step transfer model: Sport and non-sport extracurricular activities and the enhancement of academic achievement. British Educational Research Journal, 42(4), 703-728.
6. Eime, R.M., Young, J.A., Harvey, J.T. et al. A systematic review of the psychological and social benefits of participation in sport for children and adolescents: informing development of a conceptual model of health through sport. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 10, 98 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-10-98
7. Annemarie Schumacher Dimech, Roland Seiler. Extra-curricular sport participation: A potential buffer against social anxiety symptoms in primary school children, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Volume 12, Issue 4, 2011, Pages 347-354, ISSN 1469-0292, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2011.03.007.
8. Osama Abdelkarim, Achraf Ammar, Hamdi Chtourou, Matthias Wagner, Elke Knisel, Anita Hökelmann, Klaus Bös, Relationship between motor and cognitive learning abilities among primary school-aged children, Alexandria Journal of Medicine, Volume 53, Issue 4, 2017, Pages 325-331, ISSN 2090-5068, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajme.2016.12.004.
9. Eccles JS, Barber BL, Stone M, Hunt J. Extracurricular activities and adolescent development. J Soc Issues (2003) 59:865–89. doi:10.1046/j.0022-4537.2003. 00095.
10. Bailey, R. (2006), Physical Education and Sport in Schools: A Review of Benefits and Outcomes. Journal of School Health, 76: 397-401. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1746-1561.2006.00132.x
11. Bradley, J. L., & Conway, P. F. (2016). A dual step transfer model: Sport and non-sport extracurricular activities and the enhancement of academic achievement. British Educational Research Journal, 42(4), 703-728.