Gerrard Woods, Director, Sportsmart

Firstly, I should state that I am very passionate about active participation in sport.

Playing sport has many benefits – I believe you can classify them in four categories:

–        Recreational

–        Personal development

–        Health and wellbeing

–        Social and community


Sport is fun. There are few better ways to enjoy yourself than playing sport – whether competitively or socially. It provides a welcome respite from work (or homework) and can create a shared excitement that can’t be generated by sitting in front of a computer screen.

Personal development

Sport helps participants to develop important life skills. It teaches and reinforces discipline and hard work through training and setting and accomplishing goals.

Team sports teach the value of teamwork and trust. Playing sport also thrusts participants into leadership positions, enabling development in this important area.

Through sport, participants experience the highs and lows of excitement and disappointment. Playing sport can help with the ability to overcome disappointment and move on.

Sport helps develop motor skills, co-ordination, vision, problem-solving and strategic thinking – useful skills for academic studies and professional/career development.

Health and wellbeing

It is no secret that people who participate in sport will live a healthier lifestyle.

Playing and training in sport has physical benefits for cardiovascular and muscular fitness, but also associated benefits of promoting a healthy diet and personal care.

Children who participate in sport are more likely to continue involvement in social and/or competitive sport into adulthood. Read about benefits of kids participating in sport on our Sports Star Kids page.

Social and community

There is nothing quite sport to bring a community together.

From the army of volunteers who drive the operations of local clubs, to the parents who support their children, sport has benefits to everybody associated with it.

Sport provides the opportunity to meet new people from varied backgrounds and communities. It is a level playing field where everybody participates equally.

Whether you are involved in a team sport, or simple actively exercising, sport improves your lifestyle.

As a community, we need to do more to promote the benefits of sport. Everybody should have the opportunity to experience the many life-changing benefits that sport provides.

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