Over the years, I have come to realise one reliable thing about my family. Nothing drives us further apart with greater speed than good old fashioned competition. There hasn’t even been a game of UNO in our house that did not end in tears…ever. It isn’t that we don’t love being together, nor that we don’t support each other’s endeavours. It is just the mere mention of a game sets into motion some sort of primal individual instinct to win. On our own, we all do different sport. I run to be alone with my music and thoughts.
When we take a soccer ball to the park, Clover shines, but bring out the cricket bat and Gemma is the star. Just try to keep up with Alec on a bike. He rides 40km round trip to and from work every day.
Finally, Kieran is our fish who comes alive in the lanes of a pool. With his Sensory Processing Disorder resulting in low pain tolerance, the calming sensation of the water is a great motivator for him. So while we love being together and outdoors, if we challenge each other in any of those situations where one of us is actually good at something, disaster is inevitable.
That is when I figured out the secret to this family’s happiness together! Find something we are all terrible at! Enter, basketball. While we would bring a basketball to the park to shoot hoops, there always seemed to be someone who beat us to the court. By the time we got our turn, one of us would need the bathroom, a snack or something from home, but we loved playing together. None of us are tall or all that proficient at the game and frankly no one actually know the rules so when we play as a family, no one loses! Then for the twins’ eighth birthday, their godmother gave them a fancy basketball hoop for our driveway. It has been game on ever since. That hoop out in front of our house might have been a gift for the twins, but has brought nothing but high-fives, teamwork and laughter to all of us. With no one invested in being the best at it, basketball has taught us to happily take turns, help each other and learn new skills together. After school, in the driveway now, the kids all open up about their day while we just try to get the ball in the hoop.
From out front to the garden in back, we like to play at home and we have finally saved enough to get a backyard swimming pool. Our goal is to create a gathering spot where over the summer months we will all meet and enjoy each other’s company on a nightly basis. We used to go swim in the sea after school, trying to time our little excursions with Alec’s ride home from work. Now we don’t have to pack up dinner or come home sandy to enjoy those warm nights. We will have our own private sea in the backyard. And even though swimming might be Kieran’s thing, our family has learned a lot from that basketball hoop in the driveway and I think we are all ready to share the water. Together.
The best times we have as a family are when we are active, outside and together. Our key to that happiness is encouraging a non-competitive space where we can support each other, laugh and just have fun as a whole unit. Our family team doesn’t need to win to be connected.
Bupa understands that and is offering your family the chance to win up to $5,000.00 to stay connected through sport in whatever way makes sense for you. Head over to http://theblueroom.bupa.com.au/bupa-family-fun and tell them how you could see sport bringing your family together.
Maybe it is as simple as reuniting people from all different places to join you in your driveway for a friendly of no rules basketball, properly kitting out your family for a whole day of beach cricket or even finally all being able to attend the grand final of your favourite sport together. Dream big, but dream quick as the contest ends on October 12th!
Post brought to you by Bupa Australia