Judy insists it’s never too early to play ball

Georgie aged 1 and Kaitlyn Allan aged 3 with back LtoR Russell Allan (dad), Judy Murray and Aileen Campbell (2)
Georgie aged 1 and Kaitlyn Allan aged 3 with back LtoR Russell Allan (dad), Judy Murray and Aileen Campbell (2)

TENNIS COACH AND mother of Scotland’s most famous ever tennis brothers Judy Murray is backing a national campaign that arrives in Moray this week.

Judy has teamed up with the national PlayTalkRead campaign that is encouraging parents and carers of under-three’s to take part in simple activities with a ball.

These are not only fun to do together – but can also make a positive difference to children’s development. A consignment from the 15,000 balls being distributed is in place at the Moray Leisure Centre in Elgin this week.

Parents and carers are being encouraged to visit the Leisure Centre and pick up a free ball and a PlayTalkRead postcard with hits and tips for playing with their wee ones.

Judy launched the initiative this week with Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell, saying: “Playing ball and providing young children with opportunities to be both active and interactive helps with their physical and social development.

“By rolling, kicking or throwing a ball back and forth, children are learning the basic tracking, sending and receiving skills that under pin all ball sports. They are also developing coordination, balance and movement skills without even realising it.

“Through simple ball games children’s confidence can be improved, but most of all it’s about bonding with your kids and having fun together.
“When Andy and Jamie were young we invented all sorts of games at home. With two young children and not much space or money, I made use of anything we had lying around the house.

“Balloon tennis across the sofa was a big favourite – balloons move so slowly that all kids can make contact with them. The key is to start simple and slow, ‎build the confidence through success and then try something a little more challenging.”

Ms Campbell added: “Playing with your children doesn’t need to involve lots of toys or expensive equipment and using a ball, or even just rolled up socks, is a great example of this.

“The PlayTalkRead website has lots of great ideas for simple activities using a ball that anyone can play with their kids, such as kitchen basketball or loo roll bowling alley. So whether you are a mum, dad, grandparent or carer it’s worth checking out.

“As a mum of two young children, I know first-hand how much fun playing ball together can be. It’s entertaining for both you and your wee one and it helps you bond with your little one.”
Visit www.playtalkread.scot/play-ball for loads of ideas for fun, simple and free activities to do together and check out PlayTalkRead’s ‘30 Things To Do with a Ball’ list.