G1A5430” by mike dupers licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

Source: The Atlantic

New data from the Aspen Institute shows that the number of children ages 6 to 12 who play sports consistently in the U.S. declined from over 40 percent to less than 37 from 2011 to 2017.

Approximately only 34 percent of students from lower income families making under $25,000, are participating in sports, while about 66 percent of students from families making over $100,000 a year are increasingly participating in sports.

Researchers have found that talented athletes from lower-income families eventually miss out on opportunities because they are not affording expensive travel leagues, like young athletes from rich families. It creates a problem for sports teams within communities, as students from rich families can travel and move to other leagues, while talented athletes who cannot afford to buy into expensive teams end up with the local “leftovers.”

The Atlantic writes that ”Youth sports has become a pay-to-play machine.” Colleges have become a part of the problem, sending the message to parents that sports matter, as universities spend more than $3 billion on scholarships every year. The Atlantic reports that while this may help some low-income athletes who might not afford school otherwise, it incentivizes rich families to spend more on their youth in high school for top division sports teams, which can ultimately create a flurry of new obstacles for low-income athletes.

Read Full Story: The Atlantic

 

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Youth Sports Leaving Low-income Athletes without Opportunities