english article 2 - in the United States sports are widely...

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in the United States, sports are widely recognized as a tool of child development and health promotion, with 75% of parents of children in middle or high school saying they encourage participation (National Public Radio/Harvard University/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2015). However, many youth opt out or are left out. Most do not enjoy a sustained experience or play on a basis consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention s recommended five days of physical activity per week. The most robust data tracking the sport participation patterns of Americans on an annual basis is produced through a household survey conducted by Sports Marketing Surveys for the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA). In 2007, according to SFIA, 34.7% of children ages 6-12 were active three times a week in any sport activity, organized or unstructured; by 2014 that number had dropped to 26.9% (among 13-17 year olds, it fell from 44.7% to 39.8%). The chart above shows the dropoff in total participants in several of our largest team sports at the entry point. The decline is rooted in many factors, not just screen-time diversions. An espnW/Aspen Institute Project Play Survey of Parents on youth sports issues in September 2014 showed that most parents have concerns about risk of injury (87.9%), the quality or behavior of coaches (81.5%), cost (70.3%), the time commitment required (67.9%), and the emphasis on winning over having fun (66.1%). Full results from the nationally representative survey are available here.
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