Changing lives through sports.
The mission of the Nartey Sports Foundation is to support sports-related interventions for underserved youth. Sports participation can address health disparities, empowerment, and social inequalities for marginalized young people in a uniquely effective way.
According to the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), about 15 million children in America live in poverty. This figure represents nearly 21% of American youth. Kids in the United States experience higher rates of poverty than children in other developed countries.
Poverty is associated with childhood obesity. Data from 2015-2016 shows that 1 in 3 children in the United States are either overweight or obese (Nelson et. al, 2011). The prevalence of obesity is even higher among impoverished American youth.
Increasing physical activity and healthier dietary intake are the cornerstones of obesity prevention and treatment. Research has demonstrated that sports participation improves physical activity and energy balance and is associated with improved diets.
Organized sports has also been discovered to have potentially have significant psychological and social benefits as well.
Playing sports gives children the opportunity to learn critical soft skills such as dedication, perseverance, endurance, teamwork, discipline, coach-ability, and leadership. For targeted groups, these soft skills are important to address social inequalities. For example, young women who play sports are less likely to become victims of domestic violence. According to the Pew Research Center, the share of Fortune 500 female executives is only 5.4%, but 80% of female C-suite executives participated in competitive sports (ESPN, 2015).
According to the Committee on Sports Medicine and the Committee on Public Health, the general goals and skills that are augmented by youth participation in organized sports include, but are not limited to, the “acquisition of basic motor skills, increasing physical activity levels, learning social skills necessary to work as a team, learning good sportsmanship, and having fun.”
Sports participation impacts the lives of young people in a positive way, and the goal of this foundation is to create more pathways for underserved young people to have the opportunity to benefit from sports involvement.