It takes a lot more than classroom furniture to educate our children today. Students need well-equipped sports programs, music programs and art programs in their schools and out. For instance, for at-risk kids there might be nothing better than teaching those kids sports.
One such organization that is doing just that is the Progressive Athletics International (PAI). This non-profit organization takes youth who are at-risk and tries to positively influence them by teaching them life skills, leadership, and the crucial nature of education, healthy life-style choices and cultural diversity through sports. PAI operates throughout the world.
The history of athletics in society is a long one, dating back at least 1,000 years. Sports are recognized as a powerful means of bringing diverse cultures together through its common language. No matter what gender, race or ethnic group someone belongs to, athletics has meaning. In recent years sports have been used as a cost-efficient and high-impact method for the furthering of humanitarian, peace-building and economic development aspirations.
In many ways athletics is a mirror image of the society we live in, and can often be just as complicated. Sports is not a magic bullet to solve all development and social problems in a community, but athletics can help to build up individuals and society.
The vast majority of students that participate in school sports find it a positive, beneficial experience. There is a small minority, however, that do not enjoy, and are even put at risk, by sports. Unlike making sure there is appropriate and plentiful school furniture available to students, creating a safe environment for children to participate in sports is often neglected.
There are three main reasons for this neglect: denial, blame and minimization. Clubs, organizations, funding bodies and governments, engage in these reasons to not do anything about keeping children safe. They react by either saying: this does not happen here; it is someone else’s problem; or it is an isolated incident. Due to these types of responses leave children, coaches, clubs, sports bodies, and funding bodies isolated, vulnerable and powerless.
Keeping children safe requires both a preventative component and a reactive part. There must be appropriate policies, practices and procedures in place to limit the harm from occurring in the first place, while there also needs to be procedures, practices and policies to allow all those who participate in sports the ability to report any unsafe activities.
The leading source of sports news for high school sports, USA Today High School
Sports, is embarking on a search for the nation’s best high school basketball coaches. Fans of high school basketball all over the country will be able to get out of their school chairs and cast their votes for one of 306 coaches who are actively leading high school teams across the country. Six coaches from each state were selected by the staff at USA Today, plus an additional six from Washington, DC. The group of nominees were chosen after weeks of research and conversations with local high school reporters and officials with expertise in high school basketball from each state.
The winning coach is set to receive $2,000 for his/her school’s athletic department. The second placed coach will get $1,000. The coach who makes it to third place will earn $500 and fourth place $250. All of the ten finalist wil get USA Today High School Sports banners to display in their schools.
Last autumn the best high school football coach competition named Philip Haywood of Belfry, Kentucky as its winner.
Everyone knows that school is much more than students sitting behind their school desks. For many children, if it weren’t for the sports program at school, the school day would be almost unbearable. This notion is not just the opinion of restless children, but has been legitimized by research. It is a basic fact of life that physical activity is crucial to the holistic development of the young. Not only is their physical development nurtured but social and emotional health is also enhanced.
When children are engaged in sports they develop a laundry list of good character traits which can be even more important in life than many of the facts the children learn in school. Some of the things children learn are honesty, teamwork, fair play, self-respect and respect for others, and respect for rules.
In addition, school sports help to teach children healthy ways to deal with competition, and how to react properly to either winning or losing. The evidence is in: school sports and physical education benefit children in a myriad of important, socially beneficial ways.
One of the primary uses of sports in schools in certain areas of the world is to reintegrate child soldiers back into their former communities and social settings. As one might imagine, it is difficult to get a former soldier who is only a child to get back into his school chairs and behind his school desks.
According to a UN study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children found that governments and armed groups all over the world have forced tens of thousands of children under the age of 18 and even sometimes under the age of 10, during the past three decades. The report states that these children are in dire need of intellectual and emotional stimulation which can be provided by structured group activities like play, sports, drawing and storytelling.
According to the research, there is evidence that sports can help children and youth who have been recruited to participate in armed conflicts. Sports can draw these children out of violent behaviors and routines by offering a socially acceptable alternative; structured patterns of behavior which are associated with sports activities.