Getting Active

Sports for Tots

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Do you know a toddler with the potential to be ‘Sports Tot of the Year’? Many top sports personalities were demonstrating their skills before they even started school.

Tiger Woods was just two years old when he started playing golf and Andy Murray was only three when he picked up his first tennis racquet. David Beckham had his heart set on a career in football from an early age and Annika Reeder, who became England’s youngest ever Commonwealth Gold Medallist at the age of 14, started gymnastics at the age of 3.

With the 2012 Olympics just around the corner, the Haven Fun & Fitness Campaign has announced plans to encourage sporting talent amongst younger children with the launch of a nationwide search for the ‘Sports Tot of the Year’.

Early years practitioners, parents and relatives are being asked to nominate any under- 5’s they feel are showing signs of special sporting talent and would benefit from additional coaching or lessons.

The Sports Tot of the Year Award will be made to the child showing unusual talent in the special categories of Gymnastics and Tennis as well as ‘Most Sporting Potential’ .

A spokesperson for the campaign said, ‘We’re passionate about promoting physical activities for all under-5’s. Launching the Sports Tot of the Year Awards will allow us to seek out some exceptional youngsters and provide them with valuable opportunities to improve their potential.’

Once all nominations have been received successful candidates will be asked to supply a video for final assessment by the judges. The final stage of the competition will see the winning tots receive an award presented by a local sporting hero as well as a year’s free tuition in the appropriate sporting field.

If you know a tot that leaves you spellbound with their gymnastic abilities, has already mastered their backhand stroke or even leaves you breathless with their break-dancing moves, the entry form is available to download

The competition is available to children aged five and under and entrants can be submitted by parents or by pre-schools (with parental permission).

Haven Fun & Fitness provides free sports equipment to early years settings to help encourage younger children that it’s fun to be fit and raise awareness of the benefits of physical activity. Now in its third year many thousands of under-5’s at pre-schools around the country have already benefitted from the free kit that is designed to appeal to younger users and promote both team and individual sports. In 2012 the kit can include a ‘Sports Day’ pack with everything you need to stage a successful sports day for toddlers. Pre-schools can register for the scheme by clicking on