The majority of us can raise our hand to say we have played board games at some stage in our life, how many of us consider it to be a sport?
For some, sport is all about getting that heart pumping in the good old outdoors, while for others, it’s a cracking game of chess.
Some individuals are unable to play a sport outdoors for medical reasons, giving rise to the concept that your favourite Friday night board games could very well be classed as a sport.
Former Founder and CEO of Bellamour, Trina Brown has a son who has multiple medical diagnosis that prevent him from playing any type of sport outdoors, and says board games offer him the opportunity to be competitive in the most suitable way.
“My son (13) whom I home school has ASD, anxiety, learning difficulties, gifted, huge sensory issues, a visual learner, and I could go on,” she said.
I believe the board gaming community here in Mudgee only runs at night which is really not suitable for many children and special needs families.Trina Brown
“Some of his sensory issues are to do with weather, temperature, insects, making sport outside extremely difficult. He also has hyper joint mobility syndrome making sport painful so board games for him are an opportunity for all of the above.”
While there is a lack in presence of board gaming clubs, Ms Brown says she has considered starting one of her own with many reasons at the core.
“It is something that I have been looking into myself to start up next year if I can find a suitable venue donated,” she said.
“There are a number of home-schooled children in the area and for children to have access to a group or organisation during the day is much needed.
“Once you consider placing homeschooling into the stats and then special needs children, the isolation and lack of opportunity is extremely disheartening.”
Similar to physical sport, board gaming offers the chance for a player to boost self esteem, be a source of education, allow for social interaction and learning, mental health and brain fitness, increased cognitive functioning, a form of therapy, helps fight loneliness, and the list goes on.
I believe teams and individuals can benefit in numerous ways by participating in sports on a regular basis, whether the sports are intellectual or physical or a combination of both.Trina Brown
The idea of physical sport itself may not be all that attractive to other children, with board gaming offering a less gruelling option (so long as things don’t get too heated), while both maintain a stem of importance in child growth.
“Outside sports or even indoor physical sports are still a vital component of children’s health,” Ms Brown said.
“I believe that outdoor physical activities are best or even moving towards less physically combative or demanding sports and involved natures, such as bike riding and bush walking.”
So next time you pull out your dusty favourites from the back of the cupboard, consider the fact you might actually be about to partake in some healthy non-physical exercise.