All children and adolescents, regardless of their zip code or ability, should have access to high-quality sport activity that supports healthy development.
And while it is true that the individual advantages of access to sports are extraordinary, the impact extends to the greater community and even across generations; when opportunities exist for all individuals to participate, we all benefit!
So let’s first focus our lens on the individual. Consider the following evidence presented by the Aspen Institute, which now documents the physical, mental, social, emotional, cognitive & academic benefits that flow to youth whose bodies are in motion:
- 1/10 as likely to be obese
- Up to 40% higher test scores
- Less smoking, drug use, pregnancy and risky sex
- 15% more likely to go to college
- Lower levels of depression and self-derogation
- Higher self-esteem
- 7-8% higher annual earnings
- Lower health costs
- More productive at work
Furthermore, these individual benefits give rise to intergenerational health. Evidence shows a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer & diabetes. A lower rate of disability & compression of morbidity is also evident across generations that stem from active lifestyles beginning in early childhood and adolescence.
And while it’s hard to argue with the data, the prevalence of obesity among American children is incredibly high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that from 2017-2020 nearly 20% of children & adolescents in America aged 2-19 years were obese. Data also shows that certain populations are prone to higher levels of obesity, which of course begs the question – why?
Demographics play a role. It’s been proven that race, gender & household income are linked with differing levels of participation in sports and physical activity. One of the main factors for this disparity involves accessibility – the availability of sports, the type of available sports, & the cost of sports. So while every child should have the ability, confidence, and desire to be physically active, external circumstances (out of their control) often determine whether a child can participate. Given the surmounting evidence for health and well-being that extends from childhood through adulthood, this is unacceptable.
Hiveclass is on a mission to solve this problem – to make barriers to access irrelevant, for all children; to create opportunity for participation in sports and to build confidence and proficiency in physical activity; to have the chance to live healthy and fulfilled lives; to pass on the benefit of healthy lifestyles to the next generation; to support diversity in sports and to foster communities of social equity.
Hiveclass aims to provide all children, regardless of demographics, exposure to a variety of sports offerings via the internet at home, school, or their local public library. These offerings can include traditional sports offered in the United States as well as alternative sports that tap into cultural interests. The idea is to allow kids the ability to explore as many activities as possible and to build skills that feel right for them based on their own interests.
Hiveclass understands that underprivileged communities lack resources, which directly affects the families and children that live within them. The very basic human need for physical activity should not be ignored, as the detriment to health, wealth, and overall well-being manifests cyclically from one generation to the next. Providing greater access to sports for children of all backgrounds is a step towards a healthier future – for our children, for our communities, and for society.