The winter Olympics in Sochi this month has everyone at Jump excited! We’re remembering the spirit of Vancouver 2010 and can’t wait to see world-class athletes perform to the very best of their abilities. The Olympics, in our mind, has a way of connecting us to sport regardless of our ability – to see athletes racing down a mountain at speeds we’d hesitate to drive gives an extra boost of confidence and a determination to do our best, even if we’re on the ‘Bunny Hill’ and struggling to make a turn. It’s perhaps the stories of individual athletes that hold the most impact for us; stories of a life spent on the mountain, early mornings and rigorous training. And of course, the proud parents that no doubt were up as early as their children but never lost sight of their child’s dream to one day stand and watch the Canadian flag raised to the melody of "Oh Canada".
Our role at Jump in supporting Olympic dreams starts way before sponsorship, qualifiers and media attention, and as early as 6 months old. Our role is to provide a foundation in Physical Literacy. The point is not to determine who is on their way to an Olympic Games yet, but to build passion and confidence through Fundamental Movement skills (jumping, balancing etc) and Fundamental Sport skills (throwing, catching etc). Find out more about Physical Literacy here.
Our program, unlike the Olympics, shies away from competition initially. Studies show that the focus before 8 years old needs to be on building skills, confidence and passion for all sport activities. Jump teaches the ‘FUNdamentals’. When students leave our program, with the confidence Physical Literacy brings, then the road to the competition of the Games can begin.
Past 8 years old, the road turns to teaching young adults how to train and build physical and mental ability. Then, for those lucky ones who make it to high performance sport, they begin to train to win. The highest stage for the very lucky few brings them a chance to represent Canada in sport. To find out more about the road to the Olympics from a Physical Literacy perspective, visit Canadian Sport for Life.
We would, of course, be very proud to see one of our students representing Canada at an Olympic Games - we have seen many already go on to compete at Provincial level. With Jump being only 5 years old, we have high hopes for future Games. But our real joy is to see all of our students lead an active, healthy life with a clear appreciation of the determination it has taken all the worlds athletes that will be competing in Sochi this month.
Good luck to all!