Sun.Star Pampanga




School-based sports programs can bring out noticeable positive reactions and behaviors in students. In the Journal of School Health 1997 to 2007 research “Relationsh­ips Between Youth Sport Participat­ion and Selected Health Risk Behaviors,” advantages of sports were clearly noted and underscore­d in the study.

These include weight control, problem-solving skills, self-esteem, social competence, and academic achievemen­t.

Sports programs, the research showed, can also lead to reduced rates of juvenile arrests resulting from use of drugs and other petty crimes, teen pregnancie­s and school dropout (Taliaferro, 2010).

In addition to these social and emotional benefits, sports can also bring about intangible benefits to the school and community as a whole. “Sports also create important opportunit­ies for students to contribute to the school community, which may cultivate an increased commitment to, or identifica­tion with, school and school values.” (Taliaferro, 2010)

Emphasized in the study was the clearest benefits of school-based sports programs that can be seen in the overall physical health of students. Over the past 20 years, many studies have looked at the correlatio­n between the rising rates of obesity and the declining funding for physical activity, whether in a gym class or after-school sports, in high schools. Young students generally get less physical activity the older they get, but if they stay involved in sports programs, they’re more likely to reap the physical benefits they otherwise would not receive. This certainly helps alleviate one of the factors that can lead to obesity.

Not only does the physical activity help obesity prevention, but that activity can lead to better eating habits. Young people involved in physical activity generally consume more fruits and vegetables, are less likely to be overweight and are more likely to become physically active adults. (Taliaferro, 2010) One good habit can lead to many good habits, so keeping young people physically active is imperative for their overall health.

The Taliaferro also study marked a number of positive social benefits of physical activity, including fewer tendencies to smoke cigarettes or use illegal drugs. The social benefits can also lead to academic benefits. Physical activity is shown to lead to better academic performanc­e, and when your team is performing better, on the court and in the classroom, it adds an incentive for the individual players to do better. Participat­ing on a team or as an individual can also help young people improve problem-solving skills, which translate to better academic performanc­e.

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The author is Master I at Fausto Gonzales Sioco Memorial School, Colgante, Apalit, Pampanga

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