Axios Finish Line
November 17, 2022
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- Smart Brevity™ count: 333 words ... 1½ mins.
1 big thing: Youth sports bounce back
Here's an encouraging stat: Kids' participation in sports is back to pre-pandemic levels.
Why it matters: Research shows that participating in sports helps kids stay physically and mentally healthy, make friends and develop key skills, like teamwork and self-confidence.
- Case in point: When sports were canceled due to COVID restrictions, 37% of youth athletes reported moderate to severe anxiety and 40% reported moderate to severe depression, according to a study in the Journal of Athletic Training.
🧮 By the numbers: Things are turning around. Children ages 5–18 are spending 16.6 hours playing sports each week, the most since before the outbreak of COVID-19, per the Aspen Institute's annual State of Play report, Jeff Tracy and Kendall Baker write in Axios Sports.
⚽ Games are back. The rebound was driven largely by increased competition, which is up 32% from last year to its pre-pandemic total of 3.7 hours per week.
- Tennis and pickleball have gained popularity among kids, while tackle football participation is declining, the Aspen Institute notes.
💡 Reality check: The kids who enjoy sports may be returning, but a growing number aren't interested in sports at all. A drop in participation has been a theme for a while, and the COVID era only made things worse.
- 27% of youth sports parents currently view their child's lack of interest in sports as a barrier to returning to play, per Aspen's report.
- That's up from 18% during the pandemic’s early months.
🐕 Pet of the day
Thank you for flooding our inboxes with photos and stories of your dogs and cats! We'll feature four-legged Finish Liners from time to time.
"We wonder if there’s a dog anywhere that’s as passionate as our Maggie May about retrieving a ball from the water," Joan and George T. write from West Tisbury, Massachusetts.
- "We rescued her seven years ago from an animal shelter in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and we love her more than life itself."