Sports as a pastime for the whole family

Driving out of town for our winter break, I talked with my children about their sports hobbies. When I asked them what’s best about sports, they said: “It’s fun. You learn new things, make friends and get to play.”

Sports club activities have a major role in promoting enthusiasm for sports and physical education among children and young people. About half of children are active in sports clubs[i]. At their best, sports are a joyful pursuit that can provide a child of an adult with alcohol problem with an important respite from their daily life in the shadow of alcohol. A study has shown that an estimated 70,000 Finnish children grow up in a family in which at least one parent has a serious alcohol or drug problem.[ii].

Sports is part of daily life in our family, too. Our eight- and six-year-old kids engage in a wide variety of guided sports. Their days are packed with athletics, basketball, circus activities, ice hockey and floorball. As parents, it’s important for us that our children’s sports and activities cater to their needs, are close to home and are well guided – and above all our kids must want to take part in them.

Their father coaches a team professionally. That’s one reason why sports are such a strong part of our daily lives. I myself am a jogger (sometimes over long distances) and try to take care of my overall health. Though my own exercise choices, I hope to set a good example to my children – moderation in everything and listen to your body. I’ve learned a lot about this over the years. Parents and coaches can also set an important example in demonstrating that alcohol doesn’t belong in all situations, such as sports. Children often look up to adults as role models, whether their own parents or coaches.

Our duty as parents is to ensure that our children have a varied diet and get enough rest. Our daily staples include sausage soup, homemade spinach pancakes, chicken fajitas and oven-baked salmon. We favour organic products and use convenience foods when necessary. Our family's all-time favourite is beef stew with mashed potatoes, my mother’s recipe.

Wishing you a sunny spring,

Paula Kujansivu
Vice President responsible for Alko’s online shop and supply chain

The A Child’s Burden campaign, carried out by Alko with the Finnish Olympic Committee, encourages adopting a zero-tolerance approach to alcohol consumption in children’s activities. Watch the touching campaign video and challenge your friends to participate with the hashtag #lapsentaakka.

[i] e.g. Blomqvist et al. 2015, SLU 2010

[ii] Holmila et al. 2015