Get the kids involvedPublished 8:27pm Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Youth sports have grown immensely over the last three or four decades, with the passing of Title IX and invention of cable television and Internet.
Sports are everywhere, and children see it because it is so accessible. This week, the Little League World Series regional finals began airing on the ESPN Family of Networks and online.
When children watch professional, intercollegiate and Little League sports on television, many of them might ask their parents to sign them up for that particular sport. And whether professional athletes like it or not, kids idolize them and they want to become their big league hero.
On the national level, many professional leagues have started campaigns to get children involved in youth leagues.
The NFL has Play 60, which promotes children staying active for 60 minutes a day. The NFL wants girls to get in on the fun as well, with a girls flag football league. MLB has a youth program called RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities), promoting baseball and softball among underserved youth.
Locally this summer, youth sports have been everywhere with the Tarheel League District 7 Tournament held at the Susiegray McConnell Sports Complex, along with others like the White Caps swimming team.
Sports can become a financial strain for some families; many leagues in Washington try and assist those children who need it. The Optimist Club of Washington recently had to raise its soccer fee from $25 to $30 because of the rising cost of the league.
The Optimist Club, however, will help families in need. They will pay for a child whose family cannot afford the cost. The Tarheel League has lowered its entry cost to help increase numbers in the league.
The youth sports leagues in this city are on the right track to get more kids involved in their hero’s sport. It is important for children to get out of the house and stay active and sports can be that avenue. Whether it’s playing organized sports with a team in town or neighborhood kids playing sandlot ball at the park.
Never know when Washington will have the next Dominique Wilkins or Terrance Copper ready to play.