Healthy Kids Youth Sports Program
A core value of the YMCA is giving health and fitness access to all, because of the benefits it has on the whole person. Children who participate in youth sports are happier, have increased self-esteem, are less anxious, and engage in less risk taking activities (Merkel, 2013). This year the Yolo YMCA is participating in the Healthy Kids Youth Sports program. This is a grant funded program that is giving 100 Yolo County children access to our sports programs along with weekly healthy eating lessons and nutritious snacks. Along with these lessons we also give the parents nutrition handouts so the information can be practiced at home. The coaches and staff play an integral role in this program as they become supportive mentors for the children. The children selected for this program are some who would most benefit from this kind of additional community support. So far we have 23 participants from Woodland doing Winter Basketball. Next season will be Spring Soccer, and we will have two Knights Landing Healthy Kids teams and three Esparto Healthy Kids teams, including two all girls teams. We hope that this participation will provide the critical foundation for these children to lead healthy, strong, and fulfilled lives.