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B a c k t o S c h o o l , M u S i c & D a n c e … a n D M o r e ! - S u p p l e M e n t t o t h e W i n n i p e g F r e e p r e S S - S at u r D ay, a u g u S t 15 , 2 0 15 Kenaston&Scurfield 204.488.9091 SpecializedPreschoolPrograms: Two's&You(Age2),StorybookBallet(Age3), Creativedance(Age4),PrepSteps(Age5) Ages6toAdult: Ballet,Jazz,HipHop,Tap, Lyrical,Contemporary&MusicalTheatre ClassesStartSeptember8�REGISTERONLINEonour WebsiteorInPersonMonday-Friday SoYouThinkYou CanDanceU.S. u ou o Yo k ink h T u o Yo o S Yo Y i SoYouThin Y kYou HomeofLindsayNelko,Choreographer CELEBRATING 30 YEARSOF EXCELLENCE! r V i e w o n l i n e a t w i n n i p e g f r e e p r e s s . c o m /p u b l i c a t i o n s By Jim Timlick for the Free Press Participating in extra-curricular activities such as soccer and dance can provide some obvious physical benefits, but those activities can also play a key role in a young person's overall development, says a University of Manitoba expert. L eAnne Petherick, a professor who specializes in social and cultural issues relating to activity and health, says engaging in sports and arts activities can have a profound impact on everything from a child's confidence level to how they interact with others. "If you think of any time you want a young person to succeed they have to have positive experiences in order to learn what others expect of them but also to learn what to expect of themselves," she says. "I think opportunities for extra-curricular activities, regardless of what they are, if they're constructed in a positive way, young people are going to receive benefits from that and they may be things adults don't even think they're ideally designed to promote." One of the most obvious benefits of such activities, according to Petherick, is how they help young people develop relationships with others. "One of the benefits of being involved in any sort of physical activity opportunity, whether you are doing it individually or with other people, you are developing interpersonal skills," she says. "If you are participating in an after-school program where you're learning new skills with a number of other people who are also at similar skill levels you are going to build relationships with those other people." David Fitzpatrick, a professor and dean of the Gupta Faculty of Kinesiology and Applied Health at the University of Winnipeg, says that in addition to providing physical benefits such as bone growth and cardiovascular health, extra-curricular activities can enhance emotional maturation, increase cognitive abilities and promote interpersonal skills like conflict resolution. One of the positive spinoffs of participating in these types of activities, Fitzpatrick says, is that it tends to promote self-discipline in other aspects of a person's life. "If you look at our university you'll see we have a large number of academic all- Canadians. To do that you've got to be organized and disciplined. They tend to be disciplined in the sports they do but also in the other aspects of their lives as well," he says. Although young people can be painfully shy, Petherick says activities such as theatre classes or gymnastics help promote communication skills and allow youngsters to develop connections with their peers. "I think the communication skills young people learn through sport or dance or Boy Scouts… they're going to serve them as they mature," she says. "Young people are very good at communicating electronically. But I think actually doing activities with other people… they're learning how to communicate with other people and how body language is important to delivering a message. "Being able to communicate with other young people about what you need them to help you with enables young people to develop social support networks and that ultimately impacts their health. The more opportunities we can provide young people to develop positive interactions with other young people the better. Hopefully that can translate into better physical, mental, emotional and social health." Fitzpatrick stresses the fact a child's involvement in activities outside the home or classroom can provide physical and emotional benefits not only today but down the road. He says active participation during an individual's growing years can lay a foundation for a lifetime of physical, emotional and social well-being. "Children who are active are more likely to become active adolescents and adults," he says. "Children and youth who are inactive and lack physical activity opportunities are most at risk, but also have the most to gain from participation in a variety of organized and informal activities." The U of M's Petherick suggests parents talk with their kids about what activities are right for them and to get regular feedback from them on whether or not they enjoy participating. "I think (it's important) to ask young people what they want to do and give them the opportunity to recognize there are different things they can try. I think communication is key." ❚ Back to School August 15.15

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