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Here's why contact sports shouldn't be banned

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In my opinion, children playing contact sports from a primary school has more benefits than drawbacks for their future. 

Football and rugby are by far the most popular contact sports in the UK, and I think children who are interested in these sports should be encouraged to play them from primary school.

Firstly, children should have the freedom to express themselves doing activities that they enjoy, and if these activities are contact sports then I think there will be so many benefits for them.

I was not allowed to play football in primary school unless there was a scheduled lunch time where my friends and I could have a match on the grass, which really frustrated us throughout the week as we just wanted to go out and do what we enjoyed.

I believe there is also a positive correlation between a child's enjoyment in school and their behaviour, i.e. if a child enjoys themselves in school, they are generally more well-behaved and vice versa.

So, encouraging a child who enjoys contact sports to go out and play them can only have a positive impact upon their behaviour both in the present and in the future.

Secondly, it gives them a chance to emulate their role models from whatever contact sport they follow, but in the right way. For example, I'm sure if you asked many children who their favourite footballer is now, they would say Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo is an excellent role model for young children not because of how good of a footballer he is, but because of all the hard work he puts into himself so that he can be the best on the pitch.

Children should be taught by their teachers or their parents/guardians that hard work can get you where you want to be, and if a child wants to become a footballer when they grow up, they should be taught about how players like Ronaldo have made themselves into the people that they are through hard work. This is one of many valuable life skills a child should be taught as they mature.

Bons momentos na companhia de verdadeiros campeões!#terradossonhos

A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on

Hard work is not the only life skill that children can learn from playing contact sports. Teamwork is such an essential skill to learn for children, and the younger they start learning it, the better. Team work allows the child to learn to cooperate with their fellow peers in a way that they learn both social and communication skills from it.

If the child learns to cooperate with their peers in an effective way, then in the future when they meet new people they will be able to express and listen to other people's opinions without any problems. Participating in contact sports allows the child to demonstarate such skills, from deploying the right tactics to win the game to simply just enjoying being in each other's company.

Lastly, children involved in contact sports will improve their health and fitness from a young age and give them incentives to carry on in the future. Contact sports are physically more intense than non-contact sports, so whilst the child is enjoying playing, they are also subconsciously exercising, which keeps them off the sofas watching TV or playing video games.

Playing contact sports has also been scientifically found to stimulate the brain, so on this basis a child playing a contact sport is likely to perfom better acadmeically in class too.

However, the obvious implications of children involved in contact sports should not be ignored.

Firstly, there is a high risk of the child getting seriously injured. Although schools can do their best to minimise this risk, such as providing children with safety gear when playing, ultimately injuries are unpreventable. In this case, I believe that schools should give full support to the child by agreeing to pay for any treatment if needed. On top of this, parents/guardians should fill out a consent form on behalf of their child if they wish to allow them to be involved in a contact sport, in addition to the school educating the child about the possible implications when playing.

Secondly, the child's age does need to be taken into account before allowing them to play a contact sport.

I believe that an age of ten and up should automatically allow a child to participate in contact sports, with possible allowances for younger children depending on their physical and mental maturity. In the UK at the age of 10, a child is in their last year of primary school, and allowing them to learn and practice contact sports before they move onto secondary school is essential so that they know what to expect when they grow up in a different environment.

Ultimately, contact sports for children should not be banned as they demonstrate more benefits than drawbacks.

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