The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has announced its support of National Youth Sports Week, July 20-24, 2020. As the global authority for exercise science, sports medicine and promoting the benefits of physical activity, ACSM shares the vision of National Youth Sports Week to advocate, collaborate and promote healthy lifestyles for all children, regardless of resources or ability, and their families through sports.
ACSM and its affiliate, the National Youth Sports Health and Safety Institute (NYSHSI), work to educate consumers about the many physical, cognitive and social benefits for youth who participate in sports. These organizations encourage early introduction to diverse functional movements and activities that are healthy, enjoyable and lay a critical foundation for sustainable physical activity through childhood, adolescence and beyond.
National Youth Sports Week is supported by ACSM because it provides a platform for raising awareness about how participation in sports produces a myriad of critical benefits:
● Physically active adolescents are more likely to enjoy going to school, graduate from high school and achieve a higher GPA.
● Regular sports participation can improve health factors and prevent obesity, chronic diseases, and other health problems.
● Youth who frequently attend afterschool programs, like sports programs, have less substance abuse, less misconduct and are less aggressive than those who do not participate.
● Athletes learn resilience that is taught naturally through sport; specifically, in dealing with the feelings of personal loss, failure, adversity and mistakes.
While the benefits of youth sports are strong, access to participation in youth sports remains a challenge for many of today’s youth, particularly those in underserved communities. In 2018, 33.4% of children ages 6 -12 from homes with income of $25,000 or less were physically inactive, compared to 9.9% of children from homes with income of more than $100,000. ACSM and NYSHSI are committed to promoting positive, inclusive and healthy environments for all youth to enjoy sports participation. Together, children of all walks of life can have fun, develop sports skills, learn the rules of the game and develop as capable and confident young athletes at any level of athletic success and in all domains of life.
To that end, ACSM is actively supporting the passage of the Personal Health Investment Today Act. The legislation, commonly referred to as the “PHIT Act,” would incentivize sports participation by providing a 10-to-37 percent discount on physical activity expenditures through use of pre-tax medical accounts, including costs associated with youth sports participation. If passed, the PHIT Act would level the playing field for all children by removing financial barriers that currently exist.
Learn more about the PHIT Act, and follow the discussion about National Youth Sports Week by using #NationalYouthSportsWeek.