Beach sports are derivatives of original ground sports (mainly ball sports). They are well suited to be played by the whole family, as they are usually safer and simpler than their non-beach counterparts.
Beach sports are accessible for kids of all ages. For younger children it is common to forget about keeping score and just enjoy the game., but for older kids it is possible to play beach sports professionally. Clubs and international rules and events exist for each of these sports.
A video of Beach Sports for Kids
Information on beach sports for kids in South Africa
What are beach sports?
There are many different types of beach sports that make great kids activities, including:
- beach touch rugby, the rules for which are similar to Rugby League
- beach volleyball, which is derived from volleyball, and is usually played by two teams of two players (mixed or non mixed)
- beach cricket, which is a great kids activity and a fun game the whole family can participate in
- beach soccer, which is derived from European football, and is even closer to Futsal than real soccer
- surf lifesaving
It may be a good idea to get your kid started in a sport by having them try the beach version of it first. As you child gets older, they can decide if they want to continue with beach sports, or move into the ground version of their chosen sport.
Summer is the best time of the year to get your kids involved in beach sports, provided you remember to play it safe with plenty of sunscreen, a hat, and lots of water. Even though beach sports are usually played more "softly" than their original namesakes, you may need some protective gear to ensure your kids do not get hurt (in particular while playing beach cricket).
Many South African beaches have existing beach sports installations and offer free subscriptions to regular beach sporting events. Some sports, like beach volleyball, are played every weekend, providing a great way to meet new people and have fun.
To find out what beach sports are on offered near you, ask around. Your local surf lifesaving club and "regular" (eg. cricket, soccer, etc) sporting leagues should be able to provide you with information.
With so many choices, it's easy to find a perfect beach sport for your child!.
Are Beach Sports for your kids?
Beach sports are best for kids who enjoy the outdoors. Luckily, it isn't usually difficult to convice your kids to get outside and have some fun in the sun!
As outdoor activities, beach sports can help your children:
- Learn water safety procedures
- Improve their fitness
- Learn how to perform as a team player
- Form friendships and create social bonds
- Have fun
- Gain confidence
- Enjoy the fresh air
There is a suitable beach sport for children of all ages and fitness levels. Most Surf lifesaving clubs welcome kids aged seven and up, but some accept kids as young as five. Check with your local club, or browse through the ActiveActivities directory to find the one nearest you.
As for other beach sports, try your local recreation centre to find out what's on in your area.
Get your kids started
Why not start off by taking your kids to the beach yourself and seeing what they enjoy? Take along a bat and ball, or whatever gear you need, and just do it. There's no need to keep score.
Most beach sports don't require a lot of specific clothing or equipment (not even shoes!), so the cost to get involved is minimal. Specific costs will vary from sport to sport and club to club. Some will be free, while others may charge a joining fee.