Sports + Kids = Good Life

[Editor’s Note: This article was written by the CTL’s Laurie Hansen.]

It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s…? How does that go again?

My nephews have always been active in sports. In fact, one of my teenaged- nephews recently participated in the try-outs for the Under Armour National Baseball Team in an event held by Baseball Factory . In 2008, his team even made it to the Senior Little League games in Bangor Maine. I was very impressed and beaming with pride.

photo: MS Clip Art

My eldest daughter just joined a school team. I am thrilled! I’ll tell you why: A recent NY Times article states, “…the lessons from Title IX show that school-based fitness efforts can have lasting effects.” The article also highlights a study by Dr. Betsey Stevenson, an economist at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Stevenson states, “It’s not just that the people who are going to do well in life play sports, but that sports help people do better in life.” Very encouraging! And positive results are likely for everyone participating; Stevenson mentioned, “While I only show this for girls, it’s reasonable to believe it’s true for boys as well.”

The NY Times article also contains information from Robert Kaestner’s research published in the journal Evaluation Review. According to Kaestner’s study, “the increase in girls’ athletic participation…was associated with a 7 percent lower risk of obesity 20 to 25 years later, when women were in their late 30s and early 40s.”

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