According to The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, childhood and adolescence are critical times to lay the foundation for lifelong physical activity. Sports participation can significantly help girls through challenging periods and set the tone for a healthy adult life.
Unfortunately too many young people, especially girls, are not active enough. Here are some practical tips on steps you can take to get involved in your local community and encourage girls to reach their full potential:
1. Contact your local school. Take advantage of sports programs offered by your local school and sign up to play! School-based sports programming is a terrific way for girls to get involved in sports at an early age. If programs are limited, work with the school board or PTA to develop a program for the next season.
2. Research programs offered by your local park district. Park districts are a great resource for organized sports programs and activities. They offer a wide variety of classes that can augment involvement in school-based sports and keep girls active year-round.
3. Call local sports teams to learn about programs they offer. Many professional sports organizations including the WNBA and its teams, host special clinics, camps and tournaments run by coaches and players. Contact local teams to learn about dates and times of these activities or check your local newspapers for ads and information.
4. Contact local YWCA/YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs or other youth organizations. These community-focused organizations sponsor a number of competitive and recreational leagues. Often, these leagues are organized to meet the needs of s variety of skill and age levels.
5. Take a lesson. Individual and group lessons are an ideal way to learn the basics or improve skills. Consider enrolling the entire family in a group lesson as a way to integrate sports into family life.
6. Sign up for a summer camp. Contact summer camps specializing in a specific sport instruction. Camps are a great place to learn about teamwork Consider enrolling with friends to make it more fun.
7. Team up with parents coaches and teachers. Work together to inspire girls to participate in a wide range of activity and ensure your community offers sufficient programming. Networking is an effective way to identify opportunities to get involved.
8. Join a health club. Health club memberships offer the flexibility to engage in numerous physical activities such as aerobics and swimming. In addition, many clubs offer private instruction.
9. Enroll in Girl Scouts or other similar organizations. These community-based, girl-focused organizations can play an important role in motivating girls to participate in health-related fitness activities that build motor skills for a lifetime of activity.
10. Check out books and videos from the library. Libraries are home to thousands of books and videos on almost every sport. You can pick up books and videos on sports instruction, or even books that showcase the careers of players.