A recent report by the State University entitled Richmond’s Youth Sport Assessment found that 25 percent of Richmond Metro youth participated last year in organized sport, as compared to 85-90 percent in suburbs. The Richmond Metro area currently has 40,000 children aged 6-14 years. Contrary the metro area, there are many options for youth sports in the suburbs. These include strong financial support and a wide variety. For urban girls especially, this late start to organized sports prevents them from being able to participate in physical activity, coaching, be part of a team and learn skills. It also means that they are not able to spend much time on ‘negative recreation’ (drugs violence or other sexual activities).
Studies have also shown that sports and recreation programs are able to help youth develop healthy, long-lasting, active lifestyles. According to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness (PCPF), regular exercise can prevent serious illnesses; lower anxiety and depression; control weight and obesity; build and maintain healthy bones.
All children must have an opportunity to start education and sport without discrimination – regardless of race, gender or income. In response to this significant disparity, YouthSports will be created to provide the sports program necessary for Richmond children to have equal opportunity for organized sports.
Thanks to a three-year matching grant from The John Ford Stevenson Foundation (JFSF), YouthSports and several corporate partners plan to utilize organized sports and physical activity programs to promote healthy development in youth.
JFSF is the largest philanthropy in America devoted to health and care. It is based in San Francisco. Its grantmaking is focused on three goals: to ensure that all Americans have access at affordable cost to basic health care; to improve care for those with chronic illnesses; and to reduce the economic, personal and social harm that substance abuse, including tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs, causes.
Sport registration will be hosted by schools and health care centres. JFSFâ€™s renewable matching grant, which is subject to a competitive review, is based on the assumption that local funding sources can best understand the needs of their local communities. The project will be funded with substantial matching contributions from local partners.
Collaboration partners include:
- Mayor Linda Hargrove and City of Richmond
- Parks & Recreation Department.
- Richmond Unified School District.
- Templex Corporation.
- A.I. Kaufman and Sons.
- PriceRight Supermarkets.
- Avion Computers.
- The Richmond Mall
- Richmond Bank.
- Rider Corporation
YouthSports has a strong base of support and can raise additional funds via program sponsors or fundraising campaigns.
- To increase youth participation in recreation and sports programs in the Richmond Metro Area.
- To increase youth access and healthy development.
YouthSports’ mission is to develop a youth sports program in the Richmond Metro Area that will increase both participation and healthy development for the area’s youth.
Success Keys 1.3
- The school system can be used to promote the sport program and recruit coaches.
- Reduce costs associated with maintenance of the field and facilities by using the school or city park system.
- Supporting the City Council in providing scholarship funds for those youth who are financially disadvantaged and want to engage in sport.
- More corporate support is needed for the sport program.
- Maintaining a high rate of approval from the area’s parents and youth.