Amy Donaldson: We need to find more time for play in schools

Deseret News – Amy Donaldson

“…if everyone agrees that play time benefits young people, why is there so little of it left in most schools?…We should be finding more ways for children to participate, more activities in which they can be involved…Recess, like organized sports, is about teaching children to love movement. It fosters cooperation and imagination and enhances fitness. It’s about realizing that when you make time for joy, you can more easily deal with life’s difficulties. We should be looking for more ways for our children to enjoy unstructured play, while we simultaneously look for more ways to let all teens, not just those with club and college aspirations, participate in competitive sports and activities.”(more)

Kids’ sports injuries in the emergency department on the rise

Reuters – Kathryn Doyle

“The number of U.S. kids ages five to 18 years old going to the emergency department for sports injuries increased yearly between 2001 and 2013, according to a new study. Three quarters of all injuries that required emergency treatment were linked to four sports: football, soccer, baseball and basketball – although the proportion tied to baseball and basketball dropped over the study period. While the raw number of sports-related injuries increased overall, it is not clear from this data if injuries actually became more common in youth sports, or if more kids were participating in sports over time and the injury rate did not change, said senior author Teresa Maria Bell of Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.”(more)

Youth hockey concussions similar to other contact sports

Reuters – Lisa Rapaport

“Concussion rates in youth hockey may be similar to the injury risk with other high-contact sports, though many of the collisions in hockey appear to result from illegal moves on the ice, a U.S. study suggests. Overall, the players experienced about 1.6 concussions for every 1,000 minutes of participation time, the study found. That amounts to around one injury for roughly every 10 hours of practice and competition. Players aged 12 to 14 years old were more than twice as likely to get concussions as teens aged 15 to 18, the study also found. This may be due to greater disparities in size, strength and speed among younger athletes as well as less familiarity with checking, or defensive hits designed to capture the puck, said lead author Anthony Kontos, a concussion researcher at the University of Pittsburgh.”(more)

The power of PE in school: how sport gave Rory his confidence back

The Guardian – Youth Sport Trust

“Coping with severe dyslexia coupled with several physical issues left one year 12 student struggling with his confidence and self-esteem. Through the Sky Academy initiative, Sky Sports Living for Sport, which was set up in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, Rory Doherty found his confidence both in school and beyond. Here alongside his teacher Padraig O’Kane and athlete mentor Michael McKillop, the Paralympic gold medallist who helped turn his life around, he talks about his experience.”(more)

​​Look to the US if you want to know how to get more girls into sport​

The Guardian – Lyndsey Layton

“Title IX, US legislation also known as the Equal Opportunity in Education Act, is part of the education amendments of 1972. While it addresses issues such as sexual assault and inequality, it is most famous for requiring schools which receive state funds to provide female students with equal opportunities to participate in educational programmes. The act states that: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” As well as bettering the lives of women and girls more widely, Title IX has revolutionised many aspects of female school sports in the US. Since the legislation was passed, academic and athletic opportunities for women and girls have increased vastly. For example, from 1972 to 2011 female students’ participation in high school athletics rose from approximately 250,000 to 3.25 million (pdf).”(more)

Janis Meredith: Playing sports has many positive effects

Record Searchlight – Janis Meredith

“As if there weren’t already many good reasons for kids to play sports, I’ve just found some more. A report put out by TrueSport.Org claims that in addition to the physical benefits, sports provides emotional, psychological and social benefits…Children who play sports show improved academic achievement, higher self-esteem, fewer behavioral problems, and healthier psychological adjustment. The reason is that physical movement affects the brain’s physiology. In other words, playing sports is good for the body and the brain.”(more)