I was invited to Britmums Live this week to meet the wonderful Judy Murray, and to find out all about the Set4Sport campaign that she is currently launching. Unfortunately I was not able to go due to childcare issues – this is an occupational hazard when you have a little one. But Judy very kindly answered the questions I sent along with Gemma Glover from Spreading Jam PR. Here is the interview in full.
- Can you tell Fashion-Mommy readers a little bit about Set4sport.
JM: Set4Sport is a programme inspired by my years of experience as a tennis coach and parent. The programme, brought to life in a book, showcases easy and accessible ways for parents to play with their children that helps develop the skills required for playing sport in later life.
Set4Sport, which is supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland, is all about playing games and having fun in a family environment, using everyday household objects as equipment.
2. Both of your sons are talented sportsmen, and I read that tennis is not the only sport they excel in – how much of this do you think is due to the fun sporting environment you created at home when they were growing up?
JM: They both developed good co-ordination at a very early age, especially hand and eye co-ordination. They were both very good at all types of sports. Andy was very much into tennis and football. Jamie was into tennis and golf.
3. Sport and pastimes can be an serious expense, particularly for parents of larger families, what advice can you offer about sports and pastimes on a budget.
JM: Individually, golf and tennis are more expensive then team sports. The Set4Sport programme can help encourage parents to play with their children in a way that is not cost worthy, playing games that do not cost anything using objects around the house. Involving all the members of the family, create areas in the house where you play with them – instead of paying to use a gym etc. Create your own programme for your children, developing their skills.
4. You also talk a lot about using your own home as a sports environment (good with the British weather), can you give some examples of this?
JM: The book shows all types of items you can use around the house. The games are very adaptable – you can either play the games with 1 child and 1 parent or numerous members of the family. You can play the games inside or outside, and the games do not require huge amounts of space – which makes them all very accessible. It is always very useful to use sponge balls instead of hard balls so nothing gets damaged! It’s all about being imaginative and creative.
5, What sort of feedback have you received about the project so far, from sports professionals and from schools/teachers?
JM: The feedback has all been extremely positive. Both sports professionals and schools teachers recognise the importance of encouraging children to be more active. From Nursery’s to sports coaches – they all agree every sports needs more kids playing it, so if they start at a young age – they will develop more in the future. The parents that have tried the games have all given very positive feedback. I would love to hear more feedback and also know ideas for new games.
6. A personal question – I have a three year old who is already showing some serious balls skills, both catching and throwing, and kicking and controlling – what advice would you give me for nurturing his growing talent?
JM: Keep doing what you are doing. Play with him, challenge him. When I played with Jamie and Andy I never let them win (until they got too good). Make sure you develop his co-ordination by making certain games difficult for him.
7.What do Andy and Jamie think about you developing their childhood games into a serious sports programme?
JM:Both Jamie and Andy love it! They have also had a huge input into Set4Sport – they remembered all the games. I used to set the games up and Jamie and Andy would change the rules or choose a fun way to do it. All of the games were their favourite games. Jamie’s favourite was ‘Beat the Goalie’ and Andy’s favourite was’ Jumping The River’ http://www.set4sport.com/games/
I think the main thing to realise is, there is no right or wrong way to play with your child. It is YOUR way. Just make sure you are developing their skills and challenging them!