Children like being active and sports clubs have many good provisions. Find out which sports clubs are in your local area and contact them so your child can be involved. When your child has decided to join a sport, you must register him or her and pay a membership fee. It’s important that your child arrives at sports practices on time. This makes it easier for the coach, teammates and gives your child some time to prepare. For the youngest children, it’s common for a parent or guardian to accompany them to practice.
It’s possible to start participating in sport at any age. It’s never too late. Many children start when they start school, which is generally the year they turn six. Some sports also have provisions for children who are even younger. It’s common and an aim that children participate in sport in their local area. This way, the distances are shorter and the children can do activities with their classmates. It’s all about developing a sense of security and wellbeing. Some children wish to participate in a specific sport or activity, while others are motivated by what their friends do. Sometimes parents motivate their children to start sport. Children are different and have different interests, so parents can help their child to find an activity they think the child will enjoy. If your child is interested in the activity, there is a greater chance that he or she will continue doing it and gaining enjoyment from it for a long time. You can ask teachers at school or kindergarten about which sports teams are closest to where you live. There is always someone who can help you.
If you have difficulty with Norwegian, for instance, you can ask a teacher or a contact at the municipal council if they can help you find the right person at the sports club. Some places also have staff at a local sports council who can help you. When you talk with the coach or contact at the sports club, it’s important to ask where and when they have practices and what gear is needed. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the right gear the first time you go. The most important thing for you and your child is to meet the people involved. Some sports require more gear for safety reasons. If there is anything you or your child are unsure about, don’t be afraid to ask.
It’s important to arrive at sports practices on time or preferably a few minutes early. Showing respect for the starting time makes the coach’s task easier and gives your child some time to prepare. If you arrive early, you will have time to talk with the coach or other adults. Remember that if a coach is present, it is he or she who makes decisions during the practice so it’s important that you help your child to respect this. If you want to talk with the coach, feel free to do so, but make sure you have the adult chat with the adult. Don’t use your child as an interpreter. If you can’t speak Norwegian, investigate the possibility of language help, or ask if they can speak English. If you don’t have your own car, you can ask other parents if they have space to take your child. Many people walk, bike or catch a bus to sports practices. For the youngest children, it’s common for a parent or guardian to accompany them. It’s a good idea to discuss this with the coach or ask what is common as this varies from sport to sport. Another thing is that children are different and have different needs. The most important thing is that your child enjoys the sports practice and feels safe.
When your child has decided to join a sport, you must register him or her as a member of the sports club. To become a member, you must register yourself and/or your child in the electronic membership register used by the sports club. You will need to fill in the name, date of birth, gender, residential address, phone number and e-mail address. Many sports clubs use a service called “Min idrett”. You also need to pay a membership fee. Your membership will be valid from the date both the registration and payment are made.
This membership fee must be paid every year. It’s important that the sports club receives the correct contact details so you can communicate with each other. For the youngest children, all communication takes place between the adults. But when the children get older, the coach can also communicate directly with the players or athletes. Many teams have their own groups on Facebook, Spond or other platforms and important information will be posted here. This may include notification that a practice has been cancelled or moved to another time, an invitation to a parents’ meeting or details about upcoming volunteer work. When your child joins a team, remember to ask how such information is given. Good communication is extremely important for the sports club, you as a parent or guardian and for your child. Everyone’s goal is that your child will enjoy being part of the sports club but achieving this requires effort from everyone involved.
If you need help to pay, you can apply for financial support from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (also known as NAV), the local municipal council or, for instance, the National Refugee Service. You can also hear the episode about Sport and Finances for more information.