July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 24

HEALTH & WELLNESS
Research demonstrates that children
engaged in youth sports are less
likely to experience obesity and
report lower levels of depression.
The Importance of Inclusion
and Access in Youth Sports
By Teresa Morrissey and Maureen Neumann
O
24 Parks & Recreation | JULY 2 0 2 1
rganized and unorganized sports are a critical starting point in
a young person's lifelong journey toward an active and healthy
lifestyle. Youth who engage in sports not only grow up more
physically active, but also gain mental and social health benefits
that follow them into adulthood. Research demonstrates that children
engaged in youth sports are less likely to experience obesity, report lower
levels of depression and perform better academically. According to the
Aspen Institute's Project Play (tinyurl.com/9tmsc9mc), participation in
sports provides youth with increased opportunities to cultivate personal
development and socioemotional skills, such as self-esteem, goal setting,
positive communication and leadership.
Despite the benefits of youth
sports, these outcomes are not guaranteed
for all kids. Many youth -
particularly girls, LGBTQ+, Black,
Indigenous, youth of color, youth
living in low-income communities,
and youth with disabilities - face
additional
barriers
in
accessing
quality sports opportunities.
| PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
Park and recreation professionals
have the unique opportunity to
be champions for inclusion in their
communities, ensuring all kids can
participate
opportunities
that
support
healthy development.
According
to an NRPA survey (nrpa.org/
YouthSportsReport), 86 percent of
park and recreation professionals
believe it is their responsibility to
contribute to a fair and just future
by identifying and addressing inequities
in access to youth sports.
During the return to play following
the coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic (tinyurl.com/5fthkevk),
which further exacerbated inequities
in access to physical activity,
we encourage the field of parks and
recreation to center equity and inclusion
as we welcome youth back
into sports.
NRPA spoke with
colleagues
in meaningful sports
their
from Special Olympics to uncover
strategies promoting the inclusion
of youth with disabilities in sports.
As park and recreation agencies
look to provide sports opportunities
during and after COVID-19,
they should follow guidance from
the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) (tinyurl.
com/hcjtutn4) outlining
safety
measures to prevent the spread of
COVID-19.
http://www.tinyurl.com/5fthkevk http://www.tinyurl.com/9tmsc9mc http://www.tinyurl.com/hcjtutn4 http://www.tinyurl.com/hcjtutn4 http://www.nrpa.org/youthsportsreport http://www.nrpa.org/youthsportsreport

July 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of July 2021 - Parks & Recreation

July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 7
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July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 10
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July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 17
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 18
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 19
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 20
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 21
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 22
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 23
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 24
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July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 26
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 27
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 28
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 29
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July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 55
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 56
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
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https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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