Kids Programs Need To Take More Risks, Literally!

Mr Richard Williams1
1Risky Kids, Hallam, Australia


The purpose of our presentation is to educate and elevate the understanding of Risky Play, and teach a way to harness it for outdoor programs in a way which is engaging and meaningful, and which creates real change physically and emotionally.

Our approach challenges the ideas that: engaging with risk is risky; that simply taking kids outside is enough to combat the rise of technology and fear; and that traditional/linear success models have ever been an effective idea. We study the rising rates of emotional and physical disturbance among young people and look at the astounding science which already exists which can combat it. Our program also discusses the exceptional way in which Risky Play can help break down barriers of exclusion, especially among the neurodiverse community.

We combine existing academic literature and program-specific research conducted by the Box Hill Institute with challenging and exciting movements drawn from parkour, ninja and tricking and tenements of growth mindset training and adversarial growth. All of this is delivered as a program for professionals working with kids to help re-engage them with their world, themselves and each other through Risky Play.

Our presentation delivers a conceptual understanding of the science juxtaposed against wonderful, creative movements which inspire confidence, movement and excitement and a way of assessing success in a way which is organically inclusive.

With the science and marketable viability of play and specifically risky play, in a climate where communities are anxious of risk however conceptually understand it’s value and crave direction, it’s never been more urgent to educate and provide an avenue for structured, exciting and risky play.

Richard Williams is, an obstacle racer, a fitness fanatic, a professional stunt actor, presenter and the Managing Director of Risky Kids. Risky Kids is a program which he and his team teach to individuals and organisations well suited to run it. They use parkour, ninja and tricking to get kids excited to move and play naturally. His goal is for kids to practice Risky Play as regularly as they do Basketball and Football as a way to strengthen mental, physical and social skills.

About OEA and Outdoors NSW

Outdoor Education Australia (OEA)  was established in 2006 as a national network of outdoor education associations. The organisation facilitates communication between state and territory outdoor education associations about the practice and delivery of outdoor education; advocates for outdoor education across primary, secondary and tertiary education; and provides policy advice.

Outdoors NSW is the go-to place for all things outdoors in NSW.

The peak body for the outdoors in NSW, the organisation, (formerly known as ORIC), represents the outdoor community, advances outdoor standards, safety and practices, and fosters greater participation in the outdoors.

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