July 20-24, 2000 is National Youth Sports Week, which this year, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, takes on a different tone. Sports help kids build confidence and grow into healthy, active adults who are valuable members of the community. They're a fun way for kids to get physical activity and to make connections with friends and family. And they have proven benefits far beyond the immediate rewards. This infographic from Project Play illustrates just some of the important benefits of kids participating in sports.
But, barriers like cost, lack of time, and lack of inclusive options for kids of all ability can make it difficult to participate. This unequal access to the benefits of youth sports can affect the health, psychosocial, and academic benefits of specific populations.
And the COVID-19 Pandemic we are in the middle of raises even more barriers. Schools and community centers remain closed, and many youth sports organizations in our area have suspended their operations. Just this morning, Tarrant County Public Health issued a mandate that all schools in the county in virtual sessions until September 27th, with severe restrictions on extra-curricular activities such as youth sports.
There are however some good options out there for helping to keep kids active. Check out these recommendations from the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio. There's also a number of sports organizations in Tarrant County that have put protocols in place to help keep kids active through various combination of social distancing, outdoor activities, masking, and other modifications. These are important!
At Cutting Edge Fencing, we welcome kids (and adults!) of all backgrounds - period, no matter what - into our programs. While we take justifiable pride in the achievements of our highly competitive athletes, we have always had a strong program for kids (and adults!) who are just looking for some physical activity a couple of times a week. Our tagline "Sabre. Fencing. Community." is more than just some words - Community Spirit is a guiding principle of our organization.
The pandemic has greatly affected the way we teach fencing, but we're still doing our best to provide a safe, healthy way for our athletes to get the physical movement they need. Fencing indeed has a lot of great things going for it as an ideal sport for the pandemic! We have put into to place a host of protocols to keep our athletes safe, and our athletes are still working hard and having fun.
Ultimately though, we do look forward to the day we'll be able to return to our regular schedule of training and competitions. Until then, stay healthy, stay masked, stay socially distant, stay active, and enjoy these pictures of better times!