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Empower Youth Through Sports

What is it? Community-based sports projects provide a less pressured and more intentionally developmental means to engage youth in sports and recreation activities. Sports clubs, offered by school or neighborhood groups in a less structured setting than traditional rec sports leagues, offer participants a fun place to develop confidence in themselves and their abilities while building habits of fitness and wellness that may reap lifelong rewards. Sports programs also have the capacity to bring different community groups together.  The youth have fun and build relationships outside of their normal social circle.  Of course, this activity also makes for a healthier population.

How has it been used? Girls on the Run is a nonprofit focused on empowering girls to reach their potential.  The program is tailored to the particular developmental needs of younger girls, and builds personal success skills as well as running ability. Girls on the Run leads programs that bring girls together around the goal of completing a running event.  During training, the girls work towards understanding themselves and the power they wield to shape the world.  By including the running aspect, physical and psychological strength are built together.  In the end, they accomplish their goal of completing a 5k run.  The participants become much more capable of embracing who they are and creating and seeking their own goals rather than the ones society has placed upon them.  (Source: Girls on the Run)

Further Reading

Sport for Change – Mercy Corps