Let’s Get Kids In Sports Again

At Gymfinity Gymnastics, we believe in the power of sports to transform lives and empower children to reach their full potential. Recent data from the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) reveals a concerning trend: over the past five years, the percentage of kids participating in sports after school or on weekends has declined by nearly five percentage points. Sad.

Why is it so crucial for children to engage in sports? According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the benefits are many. Not only do sports contribute to physical well-being by improving bone health, cardiorespiratory and muscular health, but they also play a vital role in enhancing mental health. Studies have shown that regular participation in sports can reduce the risk of depression and anxiety among children. It also assists a child with self-assurance, critical thinking skills, and even resistance to negative behaviors (like drugs, alcohol, or bullying).

Sports can offer a platform for personal growth and development. Through participation, kids learn valuable life skills such as teamwork, discipline, and perseverance. Sports foster confidence and self-esteem, empowering children to tackle challenges both in and out of the gym. Additionally, they provide opportunities for social interaction and the cultivation of interpersonal skills, essential for surviving the complexities of growing up.

While the benefits of sports are undeniable, it’s disheartening to note that girls continue to participate at lower rates than boys. However, I believe in breaking down these barriers and creating inclusive environments where all children feel welcome and encouraged to pursue their athletic passions; boy or girl.

In 2021 the rate of kids participating in any form of athletics dropped, nationally for the first time, below 50%. Currently Wisconsin has a rate of 60.3%. Some states like Iowa and North Dakota have seen an increase. The state with the highest rate is Vermont with 69.4%, but these states are outliers. 9 States are below 50% with the lowest being New Mexico with 40.8%. The reasons for this can be attributed to both income level and access to extra-curricular programs, like Gymfinity, for example.

As advocates for youth fitness and health, it’s imperative that we all work together to remove barriers to access and ensure that every child can experience the transformative power of sports.

So, whether it’s gymnastics, soccer, or swimming, we encourage parents to get their kids involved in sports. Not only will they reap the physical and mental health benefits, but they’ll also cultivate lifelong skills and friendships along the way. Together, let’s inspire the next generation to lead active, healthy lives through fitness, fun, and fair play.

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