Get the kids active during the early school break with these tips that are sure to burn off any pent up energy and boredom.
words: Seth Amoafo
The adage ‘If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry’ has been at the forefront of my thoughts this week as I have been talking to a variety of parents on the school run and on social media.
As a parent of two young, energetic children, I completely sympathise with all the parents I have encountered. All of them have one burning question: ‘What am I to do with the kids during these enforced school holidays?’
The pressure to manage work schedules and find carers and activities for their children due to the sudden closure of schools in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19, (or the coronavirus as it’s commonly known) has left many mums and dads in panic mode.
This question has gained even more relevance since sports providers have been advised to halt activities for children aged under 12.
So, as a parent in the same boat, here are three simple ideas, located across the city, which may help keep the children active and engaged and provide you with moments of peace and tranquility.
If you’re a child reading this, well done for taking five minutes from raiding your sweet cupboard, fighting with your sibling or watching the latest offering from ‘The new Adam B’ to read this.
On your bike
The fantastic Houdairat Island has a scenic and safe cycle track, clean beach with a park and astroturf football pitches open to the public. Rack up your bike and get on the track for free (or you can rent one on the island by visiting the Yas Cycles shop), gather a few friends and a ball for a kickabout, chill on the beach or maybe go for a jog. There’s something for everyone and an easy way to achieve your 10k steps a day
Abu Dhabi Corniche is looking fantastic these days with the recent upgrades. Park up opposite ‘Al Bahar’ beach and go for a leisurely stroll on the walking track. If you get tired of walking, pick up one of the many electric scooters and feel the wind blowing through your hair (or head in my case), and stop off at one of the many beachside restaurants while you marvel at some paddle tennis displays from one of the groups on the beach. If the children get irate, there’s a beautiful children’s park to entertain them, or simply let them loose with a bucket and spade. The current weather is beautiful so well worth the effort to get down there.
Have a ball
Zayed Cricket Stadium is a little quiet during the day so gather some friends, grab a football or tennis ball and head down to ‘The People’s Stadium’ to partake in some ball sports. If you don’t have any equipment, they’ll gladly let you borrow some of theirs. There are goals and space aplenty with 17 football and rugby pitches that the guys will kindly allow use of.
While you’re there, click on the PASS Abu Dhabi YouTube page, find the ‘skills school’ section and encourage your children to work on their skills and techniques. It’s like having a coach next to you! Alternatively, you can hire a coach for some private lessons. After that, pop up to their restaurant, ‘The Boundary’ to quench your thirst with a delicious Triple Berry Shake!
Community sports providers are not sure when we will be allowed to operate again so it’s important to find ways to keep the children fit, active and engaged in the meantime. A healthy child has more chance of resisting the coronavirus. Just be sure to follow the health and hygiene guidelines. Good luck, and if all else fails, remember, it’s just three more weeks until school starts.
Seth Amoafo is the owner of PASS Abu Dhabi, occasional scribbler and is passionate about community sports.