Focuses on Girls in Sports
In For the kids
Feb. 4, 2018 at 6 a.m.
Updated Jan. 26, 2018 at 12:34 p.m.
by Brandy Hogan, Program Director
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Pines have always offered co-ed recreational sports. This season the BGCBP was able to offer a Jr. WNBA League for girls ages 8-10 years old. The focus on this league is to get females interested in playing sports and show them how sports will benefit them.
One of the ways sports benefits girls is better physical health. Girls who play sports have stronger immune systems. According to a Harvard Medical School survey, 6 out of 10 girls were dissatisfied with their bodies. Girls who play sports have better body esteem than non-athletes. Girls who play sports are less obese than non-athletes. Females have a healthier menstruation and experience less cramping and discomfort when they play sports. Their bones are stronger and have a reduced risk of osteoporosis. Studies have found that female athletes are significantly less likely to use drugs, alcohol or tobacco. A 1998 study sponsored by the Women’s Sports Foundation found that female athletes were less than half as likely to become pregnant as non-athletes.
Another way sports benefits girls is better grades in school. Female athletes are better at organizing, setting priorities, and budgeting time. A study found female athletes had higher grades, especially in science. Female athletes in high school had a higher desire to attend college. A 2004 study found that female athletes have a lower dropout rate than non-athletes.
Girls who are involved in sports have a better social life and are more involved in community affairs. Sports give girls a core of friends who are more focused on achievements. Girls who play sports have greater popularity among their peers. When girls become adults they have a higher community involvement.
Nationwide surveys from BGCA shows that by age 14, female members drop out of sports programs at twice the rate of their male peers. Some surveys show that females drop out by the time they reach puberty because they are not encouraged by society and they drop out because of self-image. The BGCBP wants to give girls this opportunity to grow and find themselves through our sports programs. We are striving to teach females the benefits of playing sports.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Pines intends to encourage the youth of the communities to embrace healthy lifestyles through physical activity, exercise, play and proper nutrition and to carry these lifestyle choices with them through adulthood. The BGCBP mission will develop, test, and field organized sports programs, afterschool physical activities, and physical and nutritional education programs for the purpose of creating an environment where children can find activities that they choose to participate in rather than non-physical activities.