Watsons Athletic Club and the Hong Kong Elite Athletes Association, on 9-10 June, conducted a questionnaire survey with 1,716 primary school students, age 8-12, from various districts. Results showed that while majority of parents encourage their kids to exercise, they spend very little time to share their sports fun. Meanwhile, school kids express that they play sport mainly for fun and some wish to become elite athletes.
Over 80% of kids are encouraged by parents to exercise, but only 40% get to be accompanied by parents
Survey results indicate that 79.2% of primary school students regularly take part in sporting activities (outside of school's physical education lessons), and 82.2% are encouraged by parents. However, 58.4% of the sample voiced out that their parents do not accompany them to play sport.
HUNG Chung-yam, Chairman of the Hong Kong Elite Athletes Association, also a father of two kids, said, "To mode our children into a habit of living an active lifestyle is very important and needs to start from their early age. As parents, we should walk our talk and by playing sport together with them. We get to share their successes and failures during the process which is an extremely effective way to improve communications and understanding between us, and strengthen the father-and-son relationship."
Kids play sport for fun while also wish to become outstanding athletes
On asking why they like to take part in sporting activities, 50.1% of interviewees said "it's for fun"while a quarter of them (23.7%) express their wish to become outstanding athletes.
But when they are asked why do they think parents want them to sport, 61.4% believe parents want them to be healthy, and only 15.3% think parents would like them to have fun and relax through sport.
Dr Lobo Louie, Associate Professor of the Hong Kong Baptist University's Physical Education Department, said "The trend that Hong Kong kids enjoy the fun element of sport does not dissimilar with researches around the world. We should use games to gauge children's interest in sport before bringing them to undergo skills training. That is, fun should be number one and this is an important point for parents and sports promoters."
Survey results once again reinforce the academic oriented atmosphere in Hong Kong education. A total of 75% of students expressed that the main reason for their non- participation in sport is heavy schoolwork and they need to focus on study.
Dr Louie expressed his concerns over the increasing inactivity of children, "The physical condition of local students is deteriorating, obesity has increased from 7% twenty years ago to 18% this year, and this trend is continuing."
Kids want fathers to spend more time with them
Parents in Hong Kong has a busy work life and by engaging their children in school and activities is no longer satisfying. 40.1% of fathers spend less than 30 minutes with their kids everyday. It's time that they should listen to what their kids want. Not only do their kids want more time from them, 45% wants their father to spend two hours a day with them.
The top ranked activities that primary school students want their fathers' accompany are sport (35.1%), electronic games (22.6%) and television watching (15.8%).
Dr Louie said the insufficient attention time creates communications barrier between fathers and kids, "Not only that fathers need to make effort to find more time for their kids, they should also try to choose outdoor activities for weekend as outdoor sports allow children to consume 20% more energy. Parents exercise together with kids will greatly increase their children's interests in sport, enhance communications and improves harmony within the family. This is not only proven by research but I am also experiencing such benefits personally with my kids."
The most favourite sports events
Cycling (46%), Badminton (44%), Swimming (40%) and Running (37%) are the most favourite sports events amongst primary school students .