Saturday 5 May 2012

Research reveals the significant role childhood hobbies play on future success

 I actually found this press release quite illuminating because Sophie and Juliette love watching Disney XD and it never even dawned on me (or them) that it is supposed to be boy-focused ! They were most offended when I told them in fact ! It seems a bit silly to me as there isn't a girl-focused channel, and the ethos of the channel - promoting "the quest for discovery, accomplishment, sports, adventure, music and humour" - applies equally well to both sexes. I've read the terms and conditions of the Aim High competition and although you have to be aged  between 8 - 14, it is open to boys as well as girls so if you have a footie-mad daughter, make sure she signs up too !


‘Hob-jobs’ - parents believe hobbies are important to future career successes

-          8 in 10 parents encourage their sons to take part in hobbies
-          Nearly 7 in 10 adults believe that hobbies are important to their sons’ future career success
-          Over a third of parents  believed they weren’t “good enough” to turn their hobby in to a career
-          More than 70% of boys want to learn from the “best” to advance their hobby
New research out today reveals that over two thirds of British parents believe that a busy schedule of sports, reading or music is important to the future career success of their sons, with an overwhelming 80% encouraging them to partake in hobbies. Six in ten parents state that their sons take part in up to three hobbies, and nearly half deem hobbies so vital to employability that they list them on their CV.
The research from boy-focused channel Disney XD’s “Aim High” initiative reveals a renaissance of old school pursuits with eight of the top ten hobbies for today’s boys matching those of their parents’ childhoods.  Outdoor activities such as football (51%) and bike riding (39%) along with the traditional pastimes of reading (37%) and collecting items (18%), feature highly amongst today’s boys.
The nationwide study of 2,000 boys and their parents was conducted to mark the 2012 launch of Disney XD’s “Aim High”,, which offers kids the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime mentorship with their heroes. Now in its third year, Arsenal football ace and rising star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joins the impressive line-up of talented and dedicated professionals, which has seen the likes of England cricketing hotshot Stuart Broad, Premiership pro Darren Bent, rugby player Toby Flood, and music star Tinchy Stryder put aspiring fans through their paces.
Encouragingly, further statistics reveal that nine in ten (91%) boys agree hard work is key to career achievement, almost three times more than those who believe that good looks can help employees climb the ladder of success.  Additionally, over half (59%) agree guidance from a mentor would vastly improve their chances for future success.
Self-improvement is clearly at the forefront of boys’ minds with three in four (73%) wishing they could learn from the ‘crème de la crème’ to advance their hobby. Footballer Wayne Rooney is the number one celebrity mentor (16%) with adventurer Bear Grylls in second place.  Olympic medallist Usain Bolt, chef Jamie Oliver and music superstar Tinie Tempah complete the top five list, each respectively inspiring boys to take up a hobby and demonstrating the breadth of different interests.
Sport isn’t the only profession wowing our youngsters; in fact only three of the top ten celebrity mentors are sportsmen. Moreover, nearly one in ten (7%) cite working in the military as their preferred future profession, making it the third favoured career choice for boys, after a sports person (18%) or being self-employed (7%).
Arsenal’s young star and Disney XD “Aim High” mentor, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain said: “I’ve always been inspired by my dad who was also a footballer but I didn’t get to see him play that much as I was too young. Disney XD’s Aim High campaign gives me the chance to be that person to someone else and I’m happy with that!”
Previous Disney XD “Aim Highmentee, Bradley Symmonds, who took part in the Toby Flood rugby mentorship in 2011 adds: “Sharing a one on one mentor session with my rugby hero, Toby Flood, was a once in a lifetime experience that will always stay with me. The mentorship really showed me the benefits of aiming high, setting goals and the importance of striving to achieve them. Training with my rugby idol was such an inspiration and had a massive impact on my confidence as a player, so much so, I’m now a kicker for my school team.”
Emma Kenny, Child Psychologist adds: “Aside from the benefits and enjoyment for a child personally, hobbies often engage parents simultaneously and reaffirm the child’s self-worth and value. In the short term these hobbies entertain, educate and encourage your child; in the long term they can literally transform their experience as an adult, helping to develop key traits necessary for a successful working life.”
Make sure you are part of this year’s Disney XD’s “Aim High”  by visiting and find your dream mentorship.

The research was conducted amongst 2,000 male children aged 8-14 years old, as well as 2,000 parents of the same household in March 2012
Top Ten hobbies 8-14 year old boys currently partake in *
Top Ten hobbies parents partook in when they were young
1.       Playing football
1.       Reading
2.       Collecting items
3.       Bike riding
4.       Swimming
5.       Playing with toys
6.       Music
7.       Watching TV
8.       Playing football
9.       Arts and crafts
10.   Dancing
2.       Bike riding
3.       Reading
4.       Swimming
5.       Music
6.       Going to the cinema
7.       Playing with toys
8.       Collecting items
9.       Arts and crafts
10.   Playing rugby
*Outside of computer games and watching TV.
Top Ten Celebrities who inspire 8-14 year old boys to take up a hobby
Top Ten professions 8-14 year old boys would like to do
1.       Wayne Rooney
2.       Bear Grylls
3.       Usain Bolt
4.       Tinie Tempah
5.       Jamie Oliver
6.       Lord Alan Sugar
7.       Andy Murray
8.       Ashley Banjo
9.       Ed Sheeran
10.   Simon Cowell
1.       Sports person
2.       Owning a business
3.       In the military
4.       A Policeman
5.       A business person
6.       A teacher
7.       An Actor
8.       A Vet
9.       A Doctor
10.   A Fireman
Disney XD Aim High
Disney XD launched the Aim High initiative last year to help inspire a generation of kids to get the most out of life, try new things and learn from some of the UK’s most talented and dedicated professionals.  2012 will see fans given more opportunities to take part in a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience with one of Disney XD’s fantastic Aim High mentors including. The initiative kicks off with Arsenal football ace and rising star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
About Disney XD
Launched in the UK in August 2009, Disney XD is the country’s first boy-focused, girl-inclusive channel for kids aged 6-14 years. Disney XD includes a compelling mix of live-action and animated programming, hyper-targeting boys and their quest for discovery, accomplishment, sports, adventure, music and humour. Disney XD branded content spans television, online and VOD platforms. The programming line-up includes series, movies and short-form content.

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  1. Most interesting, will hunt it out. Wouldn't do my lad much good, he's into ice hockey and the UK doesn't have any big stars in that. Keeps him busy and happy though.

  2. Great study, all my children do archery - infact we've ended up running our local club & training to be archery coaches through this.
    We started over 18 years ago as a family thing to do all together & the children of course flew straight past us & I'm proud to say attained 22 World Records on flight archery for the United Kingdom.
    I love the way the report in what children do now says outside of computer games and watching TV. Bet they are the most popular, parent are scared of letting their kids out of their sights these days & as a parent to five I know its hard, but when I was younger we were never indoors except to sleep, eat & drink. we have three boys in the road that are about 11 -12 & they get in the car for the mile (yes a whole mile) trip to school, then get picked up again after school & they never ever play out in the road with the other children, we live in a little quiet cul-de-sac, where all the houses face a central green island, so it's as safe as its going to be but its such a shame they must just spend their lives in front of a screen.

  3. Well done on the archery ! It's great to find a hobby you can all share as a family. I did notice the bit about TV and video games too ! And as for playing outside, I do let them play on a big car park just opposite (school car park so empty out of school hours) but I do like to keep an eye on them too ! It's hard to find the happy balance.

  4. My eldest is only 5 so it doesn't really count for him, plus he is a mummys boy at the moment and won't do any classes etc, but it is definitely worth keeping in mind for the future

  5. Found this a bit disturbing at first - that an inspirational "active" channel should only be available to boys. In the the light of the last few weeks it will be very interesting to see if sports clubs (especially in the smaller sports) will be prepared for the influx of interest from eager young novices, or indeed whether the funding will be there to staff junior group. I also suspect that many of the role models will have changed to...


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