Number of Low Income Children Playing Sports Increased by 26% in 2016

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 Child Health News
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SILVER SPRING, Md., Dec. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In the first national survey of U.S. nonprofits providing sports-based youth

development (SBYD) programs for low-income children, the Youth Sports Collaborative Network (YSCN) found the number of children in these programs grew by 26% in 2016. Of the 64 programs that volunteered to take the survey, 72% saw one-year growth in
the number of children for their programs in 2016.

This growth is significant, as research by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) for all U.S. youth sports revealed an overall decline in participation.

The survey revealed that these programs provided 26 different types of sport and fitness activities, with individual programs serving from as few as 12 to as many as 20,000 children. The top 5 sports being provided are in order: soccer, basketball, running, lacrosse and volleyball. Further, 59% of the participating programs offered one sport, while 41% offered multiple sports.

Another positive finding was that 83% of the survey respondents provided a minimum of 60 minutes of daily exercise 3 or 5 days a week. Additionally, 88% stated their programs provided more than 18 weeks of sports or fitness activities during the year. Local schools were the preferred location for conducting these programs, most of which were held after the school day.

"It is encouraging to see nonprofits around the country addressing critical needs of these underserved children who have limited access to sports and higher rates of obesity," said Rob Smith, YSCN's Founding Executive Director, "but increased funding is essential to serving more children."

The 64 participating programs were located in 27 cities/towns across the U.S. including Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, and Washington, DC.

The survey results, along with other youth sports research, can be found in "State of Sports-Based Youth Development in the U.S. -- Helping America's Most Vulnerable Children."  To learn more about the report, go to

About the Youth Sports Collaborative NetworkThe Youth Sports Collaborative Network was formed in 2016 as a member association for nonprofit organizations providing sports-based youth development (SBYD) programs to children from low-income, underserved communities. The purpose of the association is to support collaboration among SBYD programs and advocate on their behalf. The survey and research report will be an annual program of the association.

Contact:Rob SmithFounding Executive DirectorYouth Sports Collaborative

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SOURCE Youth Sports Collaborative Network

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