When it comes to maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle which includes strong social links, good physical health, and positive impacts on mental health: football has you covered.
Not just that, but with the Socceroos and Matildas performing really well on the international stage right now, it’s safe to say that football is top of mind for kids, teens, and adults right now.
Football has been the number one participation sport in Australia for many years. Now it’s your turn to sign-up: and here’s why…
1: Australia is loving football right now
Thanks to the Socceroos’ success in the recent Men’s World Cup and Australia hosting the Women’s World Cup in 2023 – Australia is loving football and our national teams right now.
The Socceroos did so well against some of the best nations in the world, and the Matildas are expected to be qualifying for the knockout rounds in the Women’s World Cup too.
And while supporting national teams are fun, the best part of football is playing! There is no better time to pull on the boots and join a team.
2: Immerse yourself in a sense of community
When you join a club you’re not there as an individual but instead joining an entire community: both the larger community at your club and the wider-football community in our region.
As well as the teammates you’ll be seeing every week, you’ll get to know members of the other teams at your club, start to recognise the familiar faces of club members and supporters, and engage with club volunteers and committee members.
A football club can be whatever you want it to be. Interested in just hanging out with your teammates? No problem! But you can also immerse yourself into the wider football family but attending club events and functions, as well as Football Canterbury events.
This sense of common purpose: to have fun and spend fulfilling time at a club can lead to a true sense of community.
3: Make a positive impact on your mental health
Sport is excellent for developing good mental health with team sports having a greater positive impact on mental health than individual sports.
Exercise releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood. It can also get you out in the world, help to reduce any feelings of loneliness and isolation, and put you in touch with other people.
If you play football regularly, it can reduce your stress and symptoms of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, and help with recovery from mental health issues.
Taking part in sports in a group has a greater impact on mental health than individual sports. Researchers in Australia found that women who played sports in clubs had better mental health than those who exercised alone.
A study of teenage athletes found that those who played individual sports more likely reported experiencing anxiety and depression. This may be because those in team sports often play for fun. Individual sports don’t require another person to compete together and may make the athlete experience more stress than enjoyment.
4: Create memories for life
Whether it’s your child scoring their first ever goal, or you’re a 20 year veteran winning a Grand Final, it’s special moments on the football field which stay etched in your memory forever.
Ask any player what their favourite goals was, or their best tackle, or proudest moment and you’ll see the pleasure in their face as they recall some of their most treasured memories: ones that last a lifetime.
5: Maintain or improve your health and fitness
No matter where you are in life, football can play an important part of maintaining good health and fitness. You could be a parent wanting your children to get an excellent base of physical fitness early in life, or you could be an Over-50s player who wants to use football to stay active.
Whatever your physical needs are, football has an option for you.
Football is a combination of running, walking, sprinting, and kicking. An all-round workout which brings benefits including:
- Increased stamina
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Reduced body fat
- Improved muscle strength and tone
- Increased bone strength
- Improved coordination
Football also brings benefits including reducing your risk of certain chronic illnesses like:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
Football will also help to improve your overall cardiovascular health and you should see your endurance increase over time if you play frequently.
6: Make new friends and strengthen current friendships
Want to meet new people? No problem! Join a football team and you’ll automatically connect with a dozen [or more] like-minded people of similar age who love football.
Friendships made on the football pitch are often life-long,
Sharing moments and memories from training, matches, celebrations, and off-the-pitch events lead to strong bonds being formed quicker than relationships from the non-football world.
Whether you’re a senior player who is joining a squad of 20 mates, or your child is joining a youth team and you now have a dozen fellow parents you can connect with – your social circle is guaranteed to grow when you start playing football.
How do you sign-up?
It’s as easy as finding a club close to you and registering! You can click here to find your closest club and click here to register (registrations open early January each year).