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Bill of rights for children’s athletics should get more attention By Chuck Corbin AFN GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Each year an estimated 21.5 million kids ages 6 to 17 participate in organized youth sports programs, according to a recent ESPN survey. This is a considerable increase over the participation rates in the 1970s. Title IX had a lot to do with the increase in sports participation as opportunities for girls in sport increased dramatically with its passage into law in 1972. The increase in the number of community and school sports teams led to an increased need for youth sport

coaches. As both girls and boys programs expanded, volunteers with little expertise and experience in youth sport coaching were recruited to fill the need. In 1979 a group of concerned experts drafted a “Bill of Rights for Child Athletes” to guide volunteer coaches and parents of child athletes. Education programs were developed to train coaches in the skills and techniques of sports and coaching techniques designed to assure the rights of kids in sports. The web link below provides current information about current coach education programs. Recent studies indicate that participation in youth sport has decreased in recent years after years of growth.

Bill of Rights for Child Athletes •

Right to participate in sports.

Right to participate in sports commensurate with each child’s maturity and ability.

Right to have qualified adult leadership.

Right to play as a child and not as an adult.

Right of children to share in the leadership and decision-making of their participation.

Right to participate in safe and healthy environments.

Right to proper preparation in sports.

Right to equal opportunity to strive for success.

Right to be treated with dignity.

Right to have FUN in sports.

--Courtesy of SHAPEAmerica, used by permission

Still, more than half of young boys participate in youth sport and nearly half of girls participate. However, by the early teen years many kids have dropped out. The leading reason was “I am not having fun.” Having fun in sport is one of the 10 basic rights of youth athletes — perhaps the most important one. Other common reasons for dropping out include: health problems or injuries, a stated desire to focus on studying and grades or on other activities, disagreements with the coach or teammates, a feeling of not being good enough, or a family’s concern about potential injuries. While the Bill of Rights for Child Athletes was created more than 35

By Lori Francoeur

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With the arrival of a new school year and the start of many sports, it’s the perfect time for a refresher course on sports injury prevention. For many kids, back to school means back to sports. Unfortunately, suffering from a sports-related injury is always a possibility during practices, games and competitions. The easiest thing to do is to inspect all safety and athletic gear to make sure it properly fits. Over the summer, your athlete may have grown, so make sure they head to school with properly fitting shoes. If there is an emergency that arises, make sure your athlete’s medical history and emergency contacts are up-to-date. This will help prevent any confusion and quicker medical attention if needed.



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Lori Francouer is part of the staff at Foothills Rehab’s Ahwatukee facility. Information: www. foothillsrehab.com


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Especially in Arizona, hydration is key. It’s important to make sure your athlete is drinking water throughout the entire day and not just chugging water or Gatorade right before practice. Educate your athlete on the importance of stretching. A dynamic warm-up prior to your workout and post workout stretching greatly reduces the chance of injury and can keep your athlete pain free. Be proactive. If your child has a persistent ache or pain, get them in for a FREE injury assessment. We offer hands-on physical therapy that gets results. We want your child back on the field quickly and safely.



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Chuck Corbin is an Ahwatukee resident and professor emeritus at Arizona State University and a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

Be sure your child is ready for school sports safety

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years ago, it is still a good document for both parents and coaches to review periodically. Adhering to these rights may help reduce kids concerns and help to keep them to have fun in sport and to stay involved. More information: ESPN source: http://espn.go.com/espn/ story/_/id/9469252/hidden-demographicsyouth-sports-espn-magazine Coach education information: http:// www.asep.com/YouthLevel/Benefits.cfm

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2016 | Ahwatukee Foothills News | ahwatukee.com

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