THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUTH SPORTS
Research by organizations such as the President's Council on Physical Fitness, Women's Sports Foundation and Centers for Disease Control all show that participation in youth sports helps children improve the physical, social, emotional and academic aspects of their lives.
In addition, the experiences of youth sports influences their behavior as adults.
• Involvement builds self-confidence and self esteem and children are better able to resist peer pressure.
• Students involved in youth sports are 40 percent less likely to smoke on a regular basis and 50 percent less likely to smoke heavily, according to research cited in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Those numbers increase if the child plays more than one sport.
• Children learn how to set and track short, medium, and long-term goals and develop the discipline to achieve those goals.
• The physical activities performed during youth sports can improve a child's strength and endurance, improve cholesterol and blood pressure, control weight and build stronger muscles, joints and bones.
• Activities like youth sports have long-term benefits for children and enable them to make the transition from childhood to adulthood. Research by Lynda Bunker at the University of Virginia found that 80 percent of women who were key leaders in Fortune 500 companies participated in youth sports.
THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUTH PROGRAMS
After-school programs provide a wide array of benefits to children, their families, schools, and the whole community.
First and foremost, after-school programs keep children of all ages safe and out of trouble. The after-school hours are the time when juvenile crime hits its peak, but through attentive adult supervision, quality after-school programs can protect our children. These programs also can help to improve the academic performance of participating children. For many children, their reading and math scores have improved in large part because after-school programs allow them to focus attention on areas in which they are having difficulties. Many programs connect learning to more relaxed and enriching activities, thereby improving academic performance as well.
As part of the community, the Central Montana Sports Complex wants to give something back by offering a variety of programs for our kids – both athletic and educational. We are working with established groups like the Heisey Youth Center to help bolster their existing programs and plan to offer new ones to their members as well. Efforts are being made to build partnerships with the Great Falls school district, the YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, AYSO soccer, Electric City Soccer Club, and many others to provide programs that will enrich our children's education as well as their physical well being.
Successful programs respond to community needs. The following are a few of the ideas we would like to offer. But with the help and guidance of students, teachers, parents, school administrators, and our community partners, we'll provide the programs, camps and activities that best fit our community.
• Tutoring programs
• Sports camps
• Educational camps
• Youth sports leagues
• Heisey Youth Center Programs