I Don’t Know Much About Parenting, But I Do Know That #SportsMatter

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Sometimes I wonder why we do it to ourselves…why we allow our family schedules to become so overloaded with activities there is barely room for fun. Why I spend every night of the week chauffeuring children from one activity to the next and praying that I have time to wash the uniforms and pack a cooler to eat dinner at the field.  Why chores and homework sometimes take a back seat to soccer, volleyball, wrestling, swim team, track or some other sporting event. Why I wake up at 5 am to work out or run with my Sole Sisters – even on a Saturday.

And then I remember. I remember why we do it. We do it because #SportsMatter. We do it because our children are happier, healthier, more productive, less hormonal (teens in the house!) and better adjusted when they are involved in sports.  And the same goes for me! Despite the fact that I sometimes push the limit a bit in terms of overscheduling, our family sporting activities do more good than harm.

What I didn’t know until recently was that there is a boatload of impressive statistics to back up my reasoning…like the fact that student athletes are four times more likely to graduate high school…they are on time to school more and absent less…and they score higher in social skills like resolving conflict, appreciating diversity, resisting peer pressure and moral conflict. (Up2Us.org)

Unfortunately, youth sports are facing a crisis. An estimated $3.5 billion was cut from school sports budgets during the 2009-2001 years. And 27% of U.S. public high schools will not have sports by the year 2020. Even community-based sports programs are at risk of becoming extinct. That’s why I’m thrilled to support the #SportsMatter campaign and help generate $2 million, raise awareness for the youth sports crisis and save teams facing budget challenges.

Girls on the Run and Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation Know that #SportsMatter

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The International Christian Mompreneur Network is proud to partner with Girls on the Run South Hampton Roads in the crowdfunding #SportsMatter campaign sponsored by Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation.  As a 3-time coach for Girls on the Run, I have witnessed first-hand the benefit of introducing girls to a non-competitive sports program that reinforces positive messages of self-esteem and healthy lifestyles. I spent 12 weeks per season working with girls on a curriculum that covers everything from how to make positive decisions and handle bullying to nutrition tips and positive self-image. Oh, yeah – and we also did some running! In fact, I’ve had the honor of guiding dozens of 3rd-5th grade girls across the finish line for their first 5k. I’ve cheered, coached and sprayed my hair pink for these girls. And every minute has been #SoMuchFun!

Now, as a member of the Board of Directors for Girls on the Run South Hampton Roads and the Marketing Committee chair, my new job is to spread the word about the benefits of GOTR and opportunities to contribute such as the #SportsMatter campaign.

Here’s how the #SportsMatter campaign works: Girls on the Run South Hampton Roads must raise $10,000 in pledges through a crowdfunding tool. If that goal is met, Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation will match the $10,000 for a combined total of $20,000 awarded to help fund Hampton Roads Title I schools participating in GOTR. This is an “all or nothing” campaign that launches on April 17 and ends on May 23. If GOTR does not meet their goal of obtaining $10,000 in pledges, they will not receive any funds at all.

Last year Girls on the Run South Hampton Roads awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships to girls in underserved areas of the region. One of the core values of the organization is to “never turn a girl away for any reason,” which means funding is vital to the program’s mission! In fact, GOTR receives this grant, they will be able to fund up to 25 brand new teams (or 200 girls) for the program.

 

How You Can Help

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Girls on the Run needs your help! Even a tiny donation can make a huge difference. Please visit SportsMatter and consider making a pledge to help GOTR South Hampton Roads raise funds for Title 1 schools in southeast Virginia. Oh, and the next time you see me pulling my hair out on the way to soccer practice, please remind me that #SportsMatter.

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