Nicole Zarrett, Philip Veliz,
Jan 31, 2018

Teen Sport in America: Why Participation Matters

The findings indicated that sport is a widely accessible activity for teens and that participants reap important benefits in health and education. Although sports remain the most popular extracurricular activity within the United States, with 68 per cent of the national representative sample of 12th-graders reporting participation in at least one sport, equitable access and opportunities in sport remains a challenge. In particular, girls and teens from low-income families are still participating at significantly lower rates than boys and teens from more affluent backgrounds, with certain sports having greater gender and economic divides than others. Although findings suggested sports are racially and ethnically diverse (with similar participation rates found for white, black, and Hispanic youth), clear differences in the racial/ethnic composition of each sport type suggest the need for further attention towards improving equity and diversity within certain sports.



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