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Are ‘non-competitive sports days’ really better for school kids?

The Guardian – Leo Benedictus

“According to a recent survey, 57% of parents with children at primary school say their sports day is “non-competitive”. This means an event in which “everyone joins in via a team-focused event where individuals are not singled out”, says Families Online, which conducted the survey. In practice, this often results in schools dividing the children into groups that do compete, while parents yell encouragement from the sidelines. There are no school records to be broken and no tears on podiums. The survey found that 86% of its responders do not approve.”(more)

Boys more likely to hide a concussion than girls

Medical X-Press – Maureen Salamon

“When it comes to reporting a sports-related concussion, high school boys are less likely to speak up than high school girls, new research reveals. The findings, derived from surveying nearly 300 young Michigan athletes, highlight a “show-no-weakness” mentality that experts say needs to change to protect brain health. “Males are more worried about what their peers or coaches would think of them if they reported [their concussion],” said study author Jessica Wallace. She’s director of the master of athletic training program at Youngstown State University in Ohio.”(more)

Op-Ed: Football Can Inspire Future STEAM Leaders

The U.S. News and World Report – Kelvin Beachum, Jr. and Jesse Lovejoy

“Football and STEAM education might not seem like a logical tandem on the surface. Through deeper exploration, we discover these seemingly opposite activities are a complementary match in inspiring young people to explore new subjects and further define their passions, futures and career opportunities. The game of football is influenced by fundamental principles of science and incorporates subjects from physics to geometry to material science. Applying these concepts can be the ultimate common denominator for kids entering a formal or informal learning environment with questions about why STEAM matters, why it’s relevant or why it’s cool. Solving for that last question is crucial to engagement.”(more)

Water outperforms sports drinks for young athletes

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Most youngsters don’t exert themselves at an intensity or duration that requires the extra sugar and salt contained in sports drinks, said Dr. Matthew Silvis. He is director of primary care sports medicine at Penn State Health Medical Center. “Sports drinks can replenish some of what you lost during exercise, but you really need to be exercising for more than 45 minutes to an hour before you would consider that,” Silvis said. “Many of our kids are not doing enough to warrant it,” he added in a university news release. Also, giving children sports drinks with extra sugar puts them at risk for weight gain and tooth decay, Silvis and his colleagues noted.”(more)

For high school football players, just a season of play brings brain changes

The Los Angeles Times – Melissa Healy

“Without sustaining a single concussion, a North Carolina high school football team showed worrisome brain changes after a single season of play, a new study has shown. A detailed effort to capture the on-field experiences of 24 high school football players showed that, at the end of a single season of play, teammates whose heads sustained the most frequent contact with other moving bodies had the most pronounced changes in several measures of brain health.”(more)

NBA, Discovery Education partner to make math appealing to nation’s youth

USA Today – AJ Neuharth-Keusch

“Imagine, just for a second, that you’re in a middle school math class. The question in your textbook: If eight of your 12 classmates are right handed, what percentage of classmates are left handed? Now imagine you’re in that same math class, but the question reads: Stephen Curry made eight of his 12 three-point attempts in last night’s game against the Boston Celtics. What was his percentage?.”(more)