National Youth Sports Week is in July
Youth sports are a great way for young people to get active and learn important life skills, however, barriers like cost, lack of time, and lack of inclusive options for kids of all abilities can make it difficult to participate. The National Youth Sports Strategy aims to remove these barriers and give every kid the chance to play.
Why is this week important?
Started by the National Council on Youth Sports, and taking place July 20th to 26th 2022, National Youth Sports Week is a time to showcase how communities can promote healthy lifestyles for children and families through sports.
According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, youth ages 6 to 17 need at least 60 minutes a day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Playing sports is one way youth can get the physical activity they need.
Sports programs for youth not only provide physical health benefits but also offer mental, emotional, skill-building, and social benefits. According to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, participating in group sports provides opportunities for youth to experience the connection between effort and success, and may enhance their academic, economic, social, and health prospects. This can translate to higher levels of self-esteem and confidence in their abilities, reduced risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts and tendencies, improved life skills, such as goal setting, time management, and work ethic, and opportunities to develop social and interpersonal skills, such as teamwork, leadership, and relationship building.
Not all youth have the same opportunity to participate in sports, which results in varying participation rates across demographic groups. This means that youth have unequal access to the health, psychosocial, and academic benefits of youth sports participation.
How can you get involved?
Everyone has a role to play in improving the youth sports culture in the United States. You can help spread the word! Parents, coaches, organizations, communities, and policymakers all have a role to play in making youth sports safe, fun, and accessible for all.
Here's how you can involve your child in sports this July
- Youth can try a variety of sports to find the ones they really enjoy. As a parent, encourage this by playing sports with your child, setting up sports-based playdates, and enrolling them in a summer recreation league.
- Adults can promote learning over competition and create safe, fun, inclusive opportunities for youth to participate in sports.
- Organizations can provide accessible and inclusive youth sports programming.
- Communities can support collaborations that increase youth sports opportunities.
- Public agencies can develop policies and provide funding for youth sports opportunities.
Move Your Way: Play for Fun, Build Skills for Life
The Play for Fun, Build Skills for Life video highlights the many benefits of sports that go beyond physical health — like teaching kids about teamwork, focus, and other important life skills. Video from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.