The perception around children playing sport

Nike looks at the many benefits of keeping active for kids, including emotional and mental skills that can be transferred to other areas of little ones’ lives.

We all know that playing sports is good for you and this is especially true for children, but their are some positives that are often overlooked. A Nike survey has revealed how UAE parents perceive the benefits of playing sport for their little ones, alongside certain other lesser known advantages and the results are very interesting.

Over 60 percent of parents think physical fitness and development is the main benefit of sports participation, while close to half of parents also associate sport with social interaction. However there are an array of other benefits to be gained and Nike’s new playbook ‘Five Minutes More’ showcases this, teaching us that kids can learn courage, creativity, confidence and more through sport. Let’s take a better look.


New research, conducted by YouGov and commissioned by Nike Middle East, is helping us understand the perceived benefits to kids in the UAE of playing sports. Ahead of the launch of Nike’s new playbook entitled ‘Five Minutes More’, the research aims to underscore the relationship that kids have with sport, and to educate parents on how to ‘plan for play’.

The survey was undertaken by 1,010 parents across the UAE and KSA with children aged between 5 and 18 years of age. It found that almost 4 in 5 parents in the UAE think the main benefit to their children participating in sport was physical fitness and development. The findings show that there is still an age-old perception that sport is only done to remain physically fit, whereas Nike wants to demonstrate that there are many transferable skills kids can learn from doing sport.


Nike believes that the future of sport is creative, inclusive, and unlimited in possibility. This is because the next generation isn’t thinking about how they can create change when they grow up – they’re leading the way now. For Nike, it all starts with listening and now they are listening to an entirely new generation of athletes – children with a perspective on their world and a relationship to sport that’s unlike any other generation that’s come before. Nike recognises the emotional and physical barriers that kids today face – in sport and in life.

The more Nike listens, the more they learn and the more excited they are about the chance to redefine sport with and for a new generation. Nike believes play is the gateway – afterall kids don’t do sports – they play sports! With this in mind, they want to inspire every athlete to keep active and gain as much as they can by playing sport.


The survey was conducted as part of Nike’s ‘Sport Is Never Done’ campaign, which aimed to highlight lifelong benefits of physical play for children. As part of this, Nike Middle East has published a playbook called ‘Five Minutes More’, which invites parents and kids to discover the benefits of sport together, by combining interactive storytelling with practical advice on how to ‘plan for play’.


Parents in the UAE are already aware of some of the benefits of doing sport that Nike aims to highlight in this playbook. It was identified that general wellbeing, mental health and social interaction were among the top advantages to kids participating in sports. The survey also highlighted that 44 percent of parents in the UAE see that sport allows their children to learn the feeling of winning and losing. A third of parents here also recognise that sport lets their kids understand the importance of persistence and determination. The playbook aims to bring these skills to the forefront of the conversation with parents.

“The survey showed us that there is still a perception that sport is only done to remain physically fit when the reality is that there are so many additional transferable skills kids can master to help them thrive in their adult lives. We want to raise awareness of sport-related benefits beyond just the physical and draw greater focus on essential soft skill development that equips kids with the tools to be successful. ‘Five Minutes More’ was manifested out of passion and a proven belief that collaborative play and interaction between parents and kids accelerates cognitive development in a fun and engaging way,” says Mohamed Bodiat, Senior Vice President Brands, Sports Brands at GMG, Nike’s official distributor in the Middle East.


‘Five Minutes More’, is aptly named after a phrase that you have most likely heard your little ones say on at least one occasion! The playbook showcases the relationships kids have with a variety of sports including skating, climbing, running and breakdancing. The playbook is designed for kids and parents to read together to show parents that their kids can learn courage, creativity, confidence and many more life skills, through participating in sport.

The complementary book will be available in hardback from select Nike stores across the region and the digital eBook can be downloaded at




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