Social media enables teenagers to communicate with friends all over the world but reduces opportunities for real life social interaction. It is vitally important that teenagers spend time with their peers, as it encourages social and emotional development that will prepare them for adulthood. Teenagers who become isolated become prone to depression, low self esteem and can become victims of cyberbullying. A MUGA provides teenagers with the opportunity to be part of a team, establish themselves with a close knit group of friends, promotes a sense of achievement and of course has physical benefits.
A MUGA is a multi use games area that incorporates basketball rings, goal posts and floor markings in an enclosed area. You will see a MUGA in parks, housing association estates, schools and holiday parks. They provide the perfect opportunity for members of a community to unite through informal sporting activities and strengthen social bonds. A MUGA in a school playground provides a safe area for children to play ball games – this is particularly useful if the overall area of the school grounds is quite small or prevents balls straying in urban schools.
The concept of indoor team building tends to conjure up the image of David Brent from, ‘The Office’, playing his guitar. While outdoor team building involves sitting in the pouring rain trying to light a fire with two pieces of wood. Essentially team building provides the opportunity for managers and coaches to study the dynamics of their team in a neutral environment. In the case of football the team members can learn the relationship between the different positions, their roles in the game and even the, ‘Off Side Rule’,
If we imagine that being a teenager is actually a team building activity that prepares youngsters for adulthood we can see how meeting up to socialise in a MUGA will help them learn a lot about life. Group dynamics play a major role in teenage hangouts as roles become clearly defined, they learn how to deal with conflict, jealousy and disappointment. Members of sports teams learn how to identify goals and how they can cooperate with other team members to win matches. Lessons learnt at the local MUGA will help teenagers through their early adulthood and they will make life long friends.
In 2008 a group of children broke into a hut in a school in Doncaster to put on floodlights so they could play football in the MUGA. The police, realising that the crime was committed in order to participate in a game the child were passionate about, decided that the best course of action was to provide structured training sessions for the boys. This approach benefitted the children in two ways; there were reduced incidents of anti social behaviour and the boys felt valued. The incident highlighted the need for more sports provision and guidance from adult members of the community. (BBC Sheffield and South Yorkshire).
If you would like to improve opportunities for teenagers in your local community or are a school that would benefit from installing a MUGA, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your options.
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