Freddy Maso, of the ASM Omnisports club in Clermont-Ferrand, offers advice on introducing children to sports

Freddy Maso, director of performance and innovation at ASM Omnisports Clermont-Ferrand, recalls the importance of creating desire and conveying sports culture.

What are the challenges of sports practice for children?
“They are multiple. It is necessary to know that if it is the brain that organizes the body, then the body builds the brain. Children who do not exercise enough may have physical and intellectual learning difficulties. And for the past two years, with the lockdowns and sanitation measures due to covid, our children have unfortunately prevented them from moving regularly. It’s very disturbing… The other benefit of exercising when you’re very young is that you keep this habit for the rest of your life. It has been shown that a very large majority of children who started physical activity before the age of ten do not let go. Knowing that a sedentary lifestyle is one of the scourges of our society with all the pathologies that result from it, it is imperative that our children do regular physical activity. †

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How do you introduce your child to a sport practice? How to help him choose a sport he likes?
“Exactly, for ten years he is not allowed to practice any sport in particular. The ideal is to create multimedia. It is true that in general the child will move to a physical activity according to his environment, for example because his parents play basketball or tennis, or because in his city he does not only have a judo or football club. The problem is that in these cases, this sports discipline may not fully correspond to the child. This will prevent him from blooming and he may give up… If he tries several sports, he can choose what suits him best. In addition, I recommend waiting until the age of ten to start with a single sport. †

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“You have to pass the sports culture on to children, their health depends on it. †

Freddy Maso, Director of Performance and Innovation. Photo ASM Omnisports

For what reasons?
“For reasons of “physical literacy”. The term is a bit special, but it means the development of basic motor skills that all children need, such as running, throwing, catching and jumping. These different faculties can be integrated through different sports activities. From the age of six, children can combine all these motor skills. By the age of ten, he has a solid foundation, these are the foundations of the house. Studies also show that children who have been through everything are less injured, better perform and stay at the highest level for longer. But be careful, the child should also not be forced to compete. He can also appreciate a leisure exercise and join later or not. »

There is still some real work to raise awareness of sports practice, and from an early age?
“In France we are really behind compared to other countries where physical activity is not neglected at all in children’s schedules. The active break has recently been set up in schools, it is already a good initiative. Unfortunately, some institutions find it difficult to implement due to lack of resources…”

ASM Omnisports offers a multi-sports area for young people

The multisport section has existed at the ASM for over 30 years. It provides the essential foundation for children’s motor development for a future specialized practice.
This part of the Clermont club is divided into four age groups: first steps from 15 months to 3 years (motor awakening), baby multisports from 4 years (athletics, gymnastics, water activities, etc.), multisport children from 6 years (8 group and individual activities) and junior multi-sports from 8 to 11 years old (sports and artistic activities such as the circus).
“On Saturdays, we even offer activities such as golfing or horseback riding,” adds Freddy Maso.
The multisport is also open to parents, who can practice the activity at the same time as their children’s lessons.

Spring Break Internships

During the spring break, the ASM organizes four multisport training sessions, for children born between 2009 and 2015, on April 19 and 20, April 21 and 22, April 25 and 26 and April 28 and 29.
The young participants will practice four sports activities over two days and can choose between two formulas: either a themed course (team sports, artistic activities, nature sports, etc.), or with the sports activities of the club (athletics, basketball, boxing, football, gymnastics, judo, wrestling, swimming, rugby, tennis).

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The price, per course, is €30 for ASM licensees and €35 ​​for non-ASM licensees.
Childcare is available from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm. The courses are accessible to children with disabilities.
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