Floorball can attack the epidemic of childhood obesity head-on. Mainly because its participation levels are so high.
It’s no surprise that there is a crisis in American specifically related to obesity in adults, but also in children. A simple google search on the topic will bring up around 43 million hits talking about this subject. Many people are talking about this issue on TV and online and there are countless articles talking about how to better yourself and get on the right track. However, when talking about children and obesity I think physical activity plays a crucial role in helping curb, or at least help lower obesity within children. It’s not a secret that more and more of us have become sedentary, and sadly that has slowly trickled into our education systems. With dwindling resources for extracurricular activities and more emphasis on standardized tests physical education programs are slowly being reduced.
I believe that floorball can be a valuable tool for schools and physical education departments. Floorball is a sport that truly is a sport for all regardless of age or ability. When looking at the diverse environment that many school provide it becomes a challenge for physical education teachers to ensure that they’re providing activities that are all-inclusive. Floorball fits the bill in being an all-inclusive sport that will help develop hand eye coordination, communication skills, and fair play. Another fundamental skill learned through floorball is control of a players’ body, and control of their stick at all times. Because the sticks are shorter and lighter than hockey sticks players have more control of what they’re doing, especially at younger ages. Per the rules players’ sticks must stay below their waist, and they may only touch the ball using their stick if it’s below the knee. These rules force children to be constantly aware of so many different aspects around them, which are very important skills to learn
For many physical education departments introducing a new sport or lesson can be a challenge due to limited funds and ensuring the new sport meets specific standards. Due to the inclusive nature of floorball and the various skills learned through the sport these challenges can be minimized. There are a number of grants out there focused on sport development and helping to teach children to live healthier lives through nutrition and exercise. Depending on where you look some floorball companies have even begun to address these issues in an effort to help. Generation Floorball is one of those companies. The partnered with the NHL’s New York Islanders to develop a floorball program for elementary schools in Brooklyn addressing these issues. While not every school has an NHL partner available to them they certainly can get creative in finding partnerships or grants to build floorball into their physical education programs.