Convenience is King

“Time is precious” they say, and for all the mum’s out there, I am sure you can relate!

For anyone juggling full time work and a family, being time efficient (as well as learning to drink cold coffee) becomes an integral skill you master.

As a working mum, with no relatives to help and a husband who is away quite often, convenience is key to me.

If a trip takes longer than 20 minutes to get my kids to the sport and/or training, I feel myself getting frustrated. Further to this, the time of training and competitions also restricts my options based on when and where I can get them there.

My daughter wanted to play Oz tag earlier this year and I searched locally but was told the competition started at 5pm. Although it only took 15 minutes to get there, I couldn’t get home from work, pick her up and be there for a 5pm start.

If someone says training starts at 4pm, I have to make friends with other parents in the team who are available and/ or prayer that the sports facility is near public transport so the kids can get there on their own. There is extra brownie points of course for my kids participating in the sport if the training is within walking distance from our house.

After listening to one of my dearest friends explain that her son has now played representative level for three different sports this season and the amount of travel she has done as part of it, it made me think….I wonder how much parents will travel for sport? Maybe people are happy to be stuck in traffic to get their kids to sport commitments and I am just the exception?

Can both parents be working full time and manage all the different extracurricular activities for their kids? One of the biggest barriers to sports participation is cost. The irony is that you need to work to help pay for the costs of sports registration and equipment (even with the $100 active kids voucher scheme).

It is only now as a mother, that I appreciate the sacrifices my parents made with their lives and their careers to cater for our sporting lives. We would travel hours to rep carnivals, spend all day there, sometimes all weekend. Dad would start work early to be home early so he could take me training every afternoon and mum worked part time to make sure she was around in the mornings.

Society has obviously changed since I was a child and even from almost 16 years ago when I first embarked on parenthood! The change from cloth nappies to disposables, blending your own vegetables for baby food (now conveniently in perfect proportioned ice cubes) through to giving iPad’s as toys for the kids to keep them entertained. Breakfast bars and lunches prepacked in shopping isles with relatively nutritious options, supermarkets at train stations to do last minute grocery shops and the online shopping options are extensive.

Everything is changing and becoming “more convenient”, sport is no exception “convenience is king”. Convenient programs (pay and play has reduced the need for volunteer commitment), registration online (reduced administration and easy data collection), fitness apps to help with various types of training, virtual reality sports (helps your technique) and increased use of lighting to extend field usage (such as mid-week training and competitions).

It should be of no surprise when planning for new facilities they should be near the people (where the growth population is going to be ), accessible by public transport (including walk and cycle pathways) and traffic infrastructure established to allow for an easier trip for people to get to local and regional sports facilities. Similarly, sports administrators should be thinking outside the box. They should be collaborating with council and other sports/sports clubs to increase the convenience factor to make their sport truly accessible in ALL areas where possible.

I recently saw a quote the other day “We expect women to work like they don’t have children and raise children as if they don’t work”. Surely there is a balance in trying to create the best start in life for your children between creating financial stability and developing their sporting prowess……convenience of sport must be a strong consideration in order to make that happen.

Yvette Audet

Yvette Audet

Sport has been an integral part of my life, both work and personal. I grew up with sport, met my husband through sport and now as a mother, am involved more than ever in sport!

As a trainer and consultant in the industry I work with sporting groups and councils to create community facilities and partnerships aimed to increase sport participation.

I have created a range of articles from the perspective of a SPORTING MUM. The articles relate life skills and messages that we can get from being involved in sport. It’s uncanny how Sport can mirror life.

BIO

Involved in gymnastics, netball and athletics from an early age, Yvette experienced being part of a team as well as the unrelentless discipline in individual sport – in particular her Heptathlon days.

First became a mum in 2005 and remembers having the inner debate of how long should I play netball while pregnant? Doing quick breastfeeds in between netball games and hoping her uterus wouldn’t feel like falling out when she jumped for the ball.

Funny anecdotes aside, she has worked in the sport and recreation industry for almost 30 years and holds several certificates and degrees around the management and training of sport, community recreation, aquatics and fitness.

Through her various roles in profit and non-profit sectors, she has helped plan for programs, events and facilities to help get communities active through sport and recreation.

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