Athletics and team membership provide crucial developmental lessons The Sports Fund Statistics
from good physical health to discipline and “playing by the rules.” Lessons learned on the field are priceless — and will help steer kids through life.

The Sports Fund is working to address a range of issues facing our communities’ children:

Issue – Childhood obesity

  • Tennessee has the 6th highest rate of childhood obesity in the United States, according to a Children’s Health Crisis report by Nashville Public Television.
  • A National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey says 17 percent of children and adolescents ages two to 19 are obese. Of those who participated in sports, the number dropped by more than half. Participation in vigorous physical activity of 40 minutes or more daily has has shown to result in improved bone health among children, which has long-term implications for prevention of fractures, osteoporosis, and other bone-related health issues.

Issue – Teen Pregnancy

  • Tennessee ranked 41st in 2012 for the teen pregnancy rate, according to CDC data. Teenage female athletes are roughly half as likely to get pregnant as female non-athletes (5 percent and 11 percent, respectively) according a Women’s Sports Foundation Report.

Issue – Academics

  • Per a Hardiness Research study, boys who participate in after-school athletics do better in school, do not drop out and have a better chance to get through college by a 2-to-1 ratio. For girls, it’s a 3-to-1 ratio.
  • An American Council on Exercise reports: 12,000 adolescents revealed that, when compared to their sedentary peers, students who participated in P.E., team sports or played with their parents were 20 percent more likely to earn “A’s” in math or in English.

Issue – Gang participation

  • Gang incidents across Tennessee rose about 110 percent from 2005-2011, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. In cities with fewer than 50,000 residents, gang crimes rose 232 percent, as cited in a report by The Tennessean.

The Tennessean’s article: “Gang violence triples in TN’s small towns” was published July 8, 2012.