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There’s no question that participating in sport has ENORMOUS benefits for kids and teens. Not only does exercise provide the physical advantages of improving strength and fitness, but there are also many mental and emotional benefits as well. Physical exercise can improve mood, concentration and self esteem. It can lessen feelings of anxiety and depression and lead to an overall stronger sense of self. I could go on and on, but I think we’re all on the same page here!

The catch, however, is that not all kids are naturally ‘sporty’ or thrive in the mainstream sport environment. Some children are extremely introverted or shy, some find certain sport settings too overwhelming and others may have a diagnosis such as Autism or ADHD which makes finding the ‘right’ sport a bit more of a challenge. It can be quite disheartening for the parents of these children to keep persisting until they find a suitable outlet for their child and ironically, often these are the children that benefit from sport the most!

The good news is that there are fantastic sporting options out there that you may not have even considered! Not all sports involve balls and whistles, fast paced decision making or pressure from the sidelines. There are plenty of options for children who don’t quite fit into the ‘mainstream’ sporting world, and I’m here to tell you all about them!

Image Credit :: Loll Jar Circus 


Arruda Team Martial Arts – Edwardstown

The benefits of martial arts for children are endless. People may assume this sport promotes physical violence, but in actual fact it does the opposite. It teaches self control, respect, discipline, perseverance and street smarts. Not only that, your child will also receive the benefits of improving their strength, balance, coordination and posture.

Arruda Team is a warm and family-orientated gym which runs an amazing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy led by world champion, Professor Leonardo Arruda. This sport is not limited by body shape or size — anyone can become successful in the art. Arruda Team has also had great success with training children on the spectrum and with ADHD, as martial arts is known to be especially good for boosting a child’s ability to focus and follow through with actions.

Arruda Team offers something for the whole family — from jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, Fit Classes, Personal Training, Yoga and Pilates. They also conveniently hold adult fit classes and yoga to coincide with the kids’ jiu-jitsu sessions so you can let off some steam at the same time as your child. Bonus! 

Get in touch with the Arruda Team staff for a free trial so your kids can experience this all-inclusive sport for themselves.

Image Credit :: Arruda Team Martial Arts 

Little Athletics SA – Various locations

Little Athletics introduces children aged 5–15 to a variety of track and field events and contributes to the development of fundamental skills such as running, throwing and jumping. The emphasis is on personal improvement and participation, but if your child wants to challenge themselves, they can enter themselves into various state competitions and championships throughout the season.

On a personal note — my son and daughter participated in their first season of Little Athletics last summer and thoroughly enjoyed it. They got to experience winning, losing (and all the emotions that came along with it). It was fantastic for their resilience and personal growth. Not only that, they made a tonne of new friends along the way. It would always warm my heart seeing my kids cheer on other children from the sidelines that they’d met along the way, whether from their own club or not.

The motto of Little Athletics is ‘Family, Fun and Fitness.’ Your kids will be given the opportunity to achieve their personal best while having fun in a supportive and encouraging environment.

Image Credit :: Little Athletics 

Parkour Various locations

Parkour is a non-competitive sport that essentially involves moving your body from point A to point B using the obstacles in your path to increase your efficiency. To create a visual picture for you — it basically looks like an exciting chase scene in an action movie… but YOU’RE the star! Participants move through an environment by vaulting, rolling, running, climbing and jumping on, over or around obstacles. Fun!

Unlike traditional sports where there are predetermined rules, parkour encourages kids to use their creativity and problem solving skills to find their own unique solutions to the obstacles in front of them. This helps children think outside the box and develop critical thinking skills. In addition to this, they’ll also be developing their strength, coordination, balance and overall self confidence. They literally get to unleash their inner superhero!

There are a number of places offering Parkour classes for children in Adelaide. Here are a few I’ve found:


South Australian Parkour Association – Classes in various locations

Image Credit :: South Australian Parkour Association

Basecamp – Kilburn


South Australian Circus Centre – Bowden


South Coast Circus – Aldinga Beach

Image Credit :: South Coast Circus 

Blackwood Recreation Centre – Blackwood


Bounce – Marleston or Greenacres


Circobats – Black Forest


Does your youngster seem to crave the feeling of bouncing, somersaulting and flipping off your furniture? Did you know this innate desire to be upside down is actually your child learning to regulate their central nervous system? Tumbling may very well be the perfect sport for them! 

Tumbling is a form of gymnastics which is performed without the assistance of props or equipment. Depending on age and skill level, stunts like backflips, handsprings, somersaults and tucks are performed using tumbling mats for added cushion.

Providing children with experiences that stimulate their vestibular system (i.e. their sense of motion and balance) is not only fun for the child, but also helpful for their developing minds!

Here are a few places to tumble in Adelaide:

Force Elite Academy – Mile End or Seaford

Image Credit :: Force Elite Academy

Visual Energy Studios – Royal Park


Circobats – Black Forest


Circus School

The art of circusing offers the opportunity for your child to develop their fitness and athleticism whilst also working on their individual development, goal-setting, creativity, trust and confidence. Not only this, but they’ll have a hoot ‘clowning around’ in the process and make a tonne of like-minded friends.


Here’s a few places you can get your circus on around Adelaide:


Cirkidz Circus School – Bowden

Image Credit :: Circkidz Circus School


Circobats – Black Forest


Lolly Jar Circus – Walkerville


South Coast Circus – Aldinga Beach

Image Credit :: South Coast Circus 


Carrie Raymond

Carrie Raymond

Carrie’s aim is to provide you with helpful content for all things ‘Adelaide’ — so no matter what info you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find it on our website.

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