Green River Star -

By Kevin Sadler
Green River Parks and Recreation 

Notes from Town Square: The benefits of youth sports


Sports are an important part of the lives of most children in the United States. Just over 21 million youth between the ages of 6 to 17 play team sports on a regular basis, with another 5 million engaging on an occasional basis, according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association annual survey of households.

One of the first things that come to mind when a young athlete participates in a sport or physical activity is the physical benefits that come from the sport. He or she gains physical strength and endurance, cardiovascular stamina, improved hand-eye coordination, and flexibility to name a few. Being active promotes weight loss and decreases the risk of diabetes, heart attack, poor cholesterol, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis.

Not only does a young athlete learn how to play a sport and improve physically, but there are social, emotional, and mental benefits as well. Children learn about competition in an organized and safe environment that stresses such skills as leadership, listening and following directions, cooperation, and teamwork. With a positive experience, children improve their self-esteem and can feel better about themselves. Sports are a great avenue to make new friends and a great way to get to know others when you are moving into a new area.

In addition to individual benefits, sports participation can improve families and the entire community. Families participating in youth sports tend to be highly involved in their young athlete’s lives and will spend more time together as a family. Children, if taught and coached properly, stand a good chance of growing up to be productive members of society. Sports demonstrates to children how rules are needed to keep order, that the individual must accept the rules for the good of the group, and that rules entail a consideration of the rights of others.

The Green River Parks and Recreation Department is excited to offer many sports related activities to the youth of our community. Some of these activities include swimming, gymnastics, outdoor soccer, Jr. Jazz basketball, indoor soccer, and sports camps. Some other activities are offered by other organizations within the community including baseball, tackle football, wrestling, dance, karate, and traveling team options for soccer and basketball.

New this summer, the Green River Parks and Recreation Department has added a summer run/walk series for the entire family and will be adding a new flag football program for Kindergarten through third grades. The Little Howler Flag Football registration begins July 9 through July 19 for volunteer coaches and their children, and July 20 through August 2nd for all other participants. Registration is at the Green River Recreation Center.

For information on programs offered by the Green River Parks and Recreation Department, contact the Green River Recreation Center at 307-872-0511, go to, or view the City of Green River Facebook page.


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