Millions of America’s children stopped playing sports in 2019, and the main culprit is a lack of local, affordable youth sports. It’s believed that childhood participation in sports has declined by 8% in the country due to costs that often range in the thousands of dollars per year.
Sports are a vitally important aspect of growth, and we believe they should be open to all. Our belief doesn’t just come from the smiles we see each week or the stories our kids come back and tell us year after year. Leading research in science, health, and social growth tells us the same thing too.
Here’s why we think that every child deserves to play and how ActivStars aims to make youth sports affordable for all. Plus, there are ways you can help too!
Science Says ‘Play Ball’
According to the Aspen Institute, there are some significantly important reasons we should help every child play a sport:
Athletes score up to 40% higher on tests in class as well as things like the SAT
They’re 15% more likely to attend college
On average, they’ll earn 8% higher annual salaries
They’re 1/10th as likely to become obese later in life
They’re less likely to smoke, use drugs, or engage in other risky behaviors in their teens and early adulthood
We’ve all been told that the habits we have in our early years can impact our later life. That conventional wisdom is backed up by science consistently. It’s good for your child to play sports today, and it’s arguably even better for them down the road.
When we think of our own children, we want to give them that advantage. So does every parent. That’s why it’s part of the ActivStars mission to make youth sports affordable for every child we can. Let’s welcome everyone to the field, gym, tournament, and more.
Everyone’s children, everyone’s future, deserve it.
Support Affordable Youth Sports: Tell Everyone Your Story
One of the best things any adult can do to support affordable youth sports— whether you’re a parent or a former youth athlete — is to start by telling your community why sports matter. There are two crucial questions to answer:
What impact did they have on you and your life?
How can others benefit like that too?
And remember that your answers are always okay. Some people played sports to feel like there was something they could do well, or even hope for a school scholarship. Others use sports to avoid problems in their neighborhood. For many, sports are simply a way to have fun and be with your friends while developing interpersonal skills.
There are countless reasons that kids play sports, and we think countless benefits for it too. Your reason is a great one for why every community should have affordable youth sports, and it’s an effective way to start performing outreach too.
Let’s Get Every Child on the Field
The financial status and ability of a parent shouldn’t hinder a child’s development. Not in school and not in sports. Investing in every single child is a worthwhile endeavor.
Unfortunately, children whose families are lower-income are more likely to attend schools that don’t have enough money to offer a wide range of sports, enrichment, and academic programs. Many, according to federal reports, go to schools that have consolidated or eliminated sports programs since the early 2000s.
When schools can’t afford to offer these programs, it’s time for groups like ActivStars to step in and step up for the benefit of our kids.
ActivStars offers classes starting at $9 per week in most areas, which is affordable for a large number of the children in our communities. When that isn’t affordable for parents, we provide assistance through scholarships and individual applications designed to help get everyone on the field.
If you’re able to contribute your time, talent, or treasure, learn about donating through our 501(C)(3) charitable organization here.
Sports play a fundamental role in childhood development. Kids who play sports are better able to handle the pressures of their class, community, and social roles. Such an important piece of the development puzzle should never be a luxury few can afford.