The benefits of team sports
With television, video games and the Internet, it is becoming more and more difficult to get children active and out of the house. It is often necessary these days to provide children with scheduled physical activity. Involving your children in kids sports has two major benefits: Team sports contribute to better health, and they help kids develop social skills.
Childhood obesity has reached staggering numbers and continues to climb. According to the National Institute of Health, one in five American children is overweight. Obese children show health symptoms such as:
- High cholesterol
- Sleep apnea
- Liver disease
- Increased risk of adult-onset diabetes
- Increased chance of becoming obese adults
- Enrolling your child into little league can be the first step to creating a long-lasting, healthy lifestyle.
The team aspect of youth sports leagues teaches cooperation, communication and leadership. These skills will improve your child's academic life and social life, and will help him or her succeed later on in the workforce.
The sport you choose for your child will depend partly on his or her personality, partly on your budget, and partly on your tolerance for injury potential. The most popular choices are:
- Youth Soccer: Soccer can be played both indoors and outdoors. Clubs with younger children group them by age only, leading to teams with mixed abilities. Older children are grouped by both age and ability.
- Youth Basketball: Very little equipment is needed, and it can be played with as few as two players.
- Youth Hockey: Multiple divisions exist for children aged 3 to 18. Rules vary, especially concerning checking. Hockey equipment is notoriously expensive.
- Youth Football: Some clubs offer tackle football to players 5 to 12 years of age in order to better prepare them for high school football programs.
- Pop Warner Football: This youth football league uses an age/weight matrix for its divisions, which greatly reduces the number of injuries on the field. Pop Warner also promotes team play by not collecting individual statistics.
- Little League Baseball: There are six divisions classified by age, starting at age 5 and continuing to age 18.
Youth Sports Fundraising
Many sports leagues run by parents or sponsored by schools rely on community fundraisers. The money raised is needed to purchase basic equipment, uniforms and transportation to games. Teams must come up with some creative fundraising ideas in order to meet their goals, such as:
- Bake sales
- Candy bar sales
- Car washes
- Garages sales
Nowadays, it may be necessary to approach corporations and businesses to invest in a sports team. Well-written fundraising letters can help to break the ice. Be sure that the letter introduces your team and explains why it is a worthy cause. Make a specific request, and explain how the donation will be acknowledged.
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