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Secondary school sport can be a gateway into professional sports. Most national sports scouts go to secondary schools and local kids’ teams to look for talent. To perfect your child’s skill in their chosen sport, they need to have the correct equipment. (In our case, it’s long jump spikes, not any old spikes!)
If you’re new to school sport, you may or may not know that:
- Football is the most prominent sport in England
- Cricket is the national summer sport
- In the UK, sports are mandatory in school, with at least one or two hours a week for primary and secondary school pupils
- Typical school sports are rugby, football, rounders, hockey, netball and basketball
- Most schools have at least one team for each year group in each sport and play at inter-school matches and competitions.
Essential equipment for sport
Different sports need different equipment, but there are basics for everyone. For example, all sports require a pair of shorts and a top, which come in different colours depending on the sport or team. A pair of trainers is a good basic starting point for all sports too – kids can move on to specialist footwear later on.
But in this article, I’ll be talking about cricket and hockey.
You probably won’t want to find all of the tools at once, because you want to be sure your child is going to stick it out before you invest in a lot of clothing and equipment. But there are some essentials everyone will need as a beginner:
- White clothing – Since cricket began, cricket players have always worn white. Cricket whites are easy to find at a local store for as little as twenty quid.
- Cricket bat – The bat costs a little more, but a great quality bat can last until year 13. When choosing a bat, consider the grip, its weight and your budget.
- Other equipment – Get the safety gear! Essential safety gear includes batting pads, batting gloves, helmet, batting shorts and abdomen guard.
In addition, your child will need cricket shoes, a bag and cricket balls. Luckily, if your child gets into the school team, the school will provide all the equipment they need.
Hockey can bet quite dangerous. So it is essential that children and teenagers have the right equipment and the know-how to use them:
- Safety gear – Of course, the most important thing is protecting the vulnerable parts of the body. This involves using shoulder pads, knee and shin pads and also mouthguards. Finally, there is the neck protector, athletic supporter and cup. The athletic supporters come as a pair of undershorts or a separate.
- Skates – Skates are specifically for ice hockey, of course! Not many secondary schools do ice hockey, but it may be something your child looks into if you have a local ice rink. The most important part of maintaining skates is ensuring they fit well and keeping them sharp enough not to get stuck in the ice ruts.
- Astroturf shoes – Are used for field hockey and a crucial part of the game in order to place your best.
- Hockey pants – These are also known as breezes and should be as loose as possible. They should also offer padding at the front, back, and side of the upper legs.
- Gloves – These are a specific item for hockey because they protect the hand from friction against the hockey stick. However, they should allow effortless movement of the fingers and stretch past the wrist.
There is no doubt that sport is exciting and worthwhile for children and teenagers, but safety of players should always be a priority.
As parents, make sure your school or team issues all the safety equipment your child needs to keep them safe. If you do need to buy equipment yourself, it can be relatively expensive, but look out for cheaper options, like secondhand stores (schools and teams often do secondhand sales too), wait for the sales or look out for discount coupons.