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Gail Emms: Don’t just watch the Olympics, have a sporty summer of your own

The Telegraph – Boudicca Fox-Leonard

“Gail Emms always thought she had a normal childhood. One full of bike races with friends, family walks and badminton at her local sports centre. She has no doubt that growing up in a household packed full of activity set her on a course for sporting success – Emms won silver at the 2004 Olympics in the badminton mixed doubles. But after retiring in 2008, she became an ambassador for the Youth Sport Trust and was faced with an uncomfortable truth: most kids aren’t sporty at all. “I realised I’d been living in a bubble,” says the 39-year old. “Until I went into schools, I’d never met children who weren’t interested in sport and I couldn’t believe it.” A study by Essex University reported in June that child fitness levels are falling at an even faster rate than feared – a decline of eight per cent over the previous 10 years. It’s a situation Emms and her fellow Youth Sport Trust ambassadors have been seeking to change through visits to thousands of schools across England.”(more)

How mothers’ songs give girls a head start: Boys are more likely to fall behind in basic language skills because they play sports instead of listening to nursery rhymes

The Daily Mail UK – Eleanor Harding

“Girls have better literacy skills before they start school because mothers are more likely to sing nursery rhymes to them while boys play sports, a report has found. Boys are almost twice as likely as girls to fall behind in basic language skills by the time they start school, the new research revealed. The report by charity Save the Children found that pre-school girls and boys do the same amount of literary based activities, such as using the library and reading books.”(more)

Doctor’s Notes: Parents, barriers to fitness and fun are surmountable

The Toronto Star – Nancy Quinn

Most children with different abilities want to play more sports or be more active, but only about half of these kids currently take part in physical education class. Studies show that success on the playing field or at the playground can lead to greater success educationally and socially — and sports can have a major positive impact on quality of life. Clearly, we need to do better. Finding the right program that suits your children’s interests and needs can take research and effort. But parents, please do not despair. There are many resources available in Ontario that provide children with different abilities the opportunity to be physically active and play sport. People are actively working to improve access and opportunity to these resources for you and your child. Language is a powerful tool and can improve access and opportunity for children with different abilities. “Disability” or “disabled” implies a lack of ability, while “different ability” affirms ability, and the children that I am speaking of are extremely able.”(more)

Baseball can teach education a lesson

Ed Source – Arun Ramanathan

“I wish that discussions of education data were as interesting as my conversations on baseball statistics. Contrary to my reputation as an Ed Dork, I do not wake up every morning, grab my phone and check out EdWeek, EdSource and Eduwonk for the latest Ed news. I wake up, grab my phone and check out two pretty amazing baseball blogs: crashburnalley.com and fangraphs.com. The first was created by amateur statisticians and hardcore fans of the Philadelphia Phillies. The second is the online bible for baseball statistics junkies nationally. Both sites view the game through the lens of numbers. The movement of those numbers up and down reflects the performance of ballplayers. The beauty of these sites is that they’ve taken the numbers that were once the province of baseball lifers and general managers and democratized them. This has resulted in the proliferation of metrics such as OPS (On-base Plus Slugging), WAR (Wins Above Replacement), BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play), and countless others. Over the past decade, as these metrics have proliferated, it’s hard to know which ones have been created by professionals and which ones by amateurs. In fact, the stats revolution has moved beyond baseball, taken over basketball and started to change football.”(more)

What parents should know about kids’ sports nutrition

The Des Moines Register – Lori Graff

“Baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, fun-runs and more are keeping your family busy and moving this summer. Proper nutrition for your child is important to keep him or her active. As a parent and/or coach, it is your job to help keep these youngsters hydrated, healthy, growing and strong. Sports nutrition for children is important, especially during those all-day tournaments and long training periods. Children’s nutrition needs are different than adults, based on their rapid growth, increasing muscle mass and hormone changes.”(more)

Physical Fitness and Sports: 14 Ways for Kids to Increase Physical Fitness and Awareness

U.S. Dept. of Education – Staff Writer

“May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Let’s Move! reports that nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. Lifestyles that include physical activity and good nutrition will help keep kids on the path to a more healthy and productive future. National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is a great time to help kids become more aware of the fact that physical activity and eating well promote a healthy lifestyle.”(more)