Why obstacle course racing is great for Fit Kids

Fit kids the grind obstacle courseI was really excited to meet the guys from The Grind Obstacle course racing a couple of weeks ago to find out more about their family obstacle course event on 3rd December.

I was even more excited when they asked if Fit Kids would like to run their Little G course for kids aged 4 to 11 years, so we jumped at the opportunity to partner with this awesome team of passionate guys.

Seriously, the team from The Grind OCR are super passionate about obstacle course racing, and they just want to share it with everyone and anyone!  They love creating amazing experiences where anyone of any ability, age or fitness level can have fun, push their boundaries a little bit, get muddy, and experience the exhilaration of obstacle course racing!

Why do I think obstacle course racing is so good for our Fit Kids?  I’ll probably come up with even more reasons after the event in a couple of weeks, but here are the most obvious reasons off the top of my head:

1.  It drives home my number one Fit Kids message – exercise and sport are not the same thing.  If you keep your body strong, fit and able, you can use it for awesome experiences like obstacle course races which are for everyone no matter how fast or slow you are.

2.  It involves using the whole body in a variety of ways.  You can’t do an obstacle course without using your whole body to climb, stretch, duck, crawl, run, jump, roll…  This is great for strength building and to put those Fit Kids skills to the test, but it’s also amazing for confidence.

3.  It ticks all the gross motor skills boxes.  An obstacle course requires things like balance, stability, motor planning, bilateral integration, core strength, co-ordination, spatial awareness, crossing the midline…

4.  The opportunities for sensory input are endless.  For starters, the mud is quite a tactile experience!  Then there’s the proprioceptive input from things like pushing and pulling the body along, and plenty of opportunities for vestibular input from tasks that require moving up, down and sideways.

5.  It builds character and confidence like you wouldn’t believe!  It’s quite a physical and mental challenge to tackle a big obstacle course in a place you’re unfamiliar with and with people you might not know. Just imagine the sense of achievement and massive boost in confidence your child will experience when they’ve faced it and finished it!  Because children learn so much more about themselves, their bodies and life in general through concrete experiences, a challenge like this that they can ‘feel’ in their bodies at the same time as they’re processing the events mentally, are priceless in terms of character development and confidence building.

6.  It provides a great platform for teamwork and relationship building.  Most children will ask a friend, sibling or parent to join them the first time they do a course like this (they can do it as many times as they like on the day).  Relying on each other to get through the experience together provides a fantastic bonding experience that serves to strengthen relationships and teach children about teamwork.  Some kids may need a little guidance around leadership and empathy here, but luckily you’ll have Fit Kids there to find those teachable moments!

We’d love you to join us at The Grind Obstacle Course race on 3rd December!  It promises to be a fantastic day out for the family, with races for everyone and plenty going on for spectators too including live music, go-cart racing, motocross shows and plenty to keep you fed, watered and entertained.

Come and join us – find out more and buy tickets here.

 

 

About Simon

I'm a dad, a teacher and a business owner, doing my best to make every day count. I'm determined to shape the way the next generation feel about exercise, and I'm doing this by showing children the difference between enjoying exercise as part of healthy lifestyle, and participating in exercise as a means to perform in sport. I'm also helping parents learn how to include exercise as a normal part of daily life, and working with schools and teachers to change the way they present exercise to children in the foundation years.

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