“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand" - Nelson Mandela
The power of play. Nelson Mandela understood it and put it into words. Every day, young people, families, and communities across the country benefit as they put it into action.
On Saturday, November 13th, National Youth Sports Day will celebrate the importance and benefits of youth sports, most critically as a means to help achieve the nation’s health and well-being goals. The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS), its partners, including SportsEngine, members, and other youth sports organizations will raise their collective voice in support of providing opportunities for young people to play sports.
“Youth sports have historically been a staple in communities across America,” said NCYS Executive Director Wayne B. Moss. “Participation has been a rite of passage for youth and a source of community pride and cohesiveness. National Youth Sports Day is an opportunity to celebrate the work of those that help youth to participate and unknowingly learn significant lessons and skills while having fun.”
The celebration will include hundreds of clinics, tournaments, and games in a variety of sports provided by organizations from coast to coast.
USA Lacrosse is putting on a week’s worth of events highlighted by "Pickup and Play" clinics for youth ages 6-14 at nearly 40 locations in every region of the country. These clinics will give youth players a chance to pick up a stick and explore lacrosse.The no-cost clinics help make lacrosse more welcoming, diverse, and inclusive.
“We’re excited about giving kids the opportunity to try lacrosse,” said USA Lacrosse Chief Executive Officer Marc Riccio. “Most importantly, lacrosse is fun. The game also provides valuable experience with teamwork, communication, and discipline. These are things all kids can benefit from.”
For more information on how to register for USA Lacrosse’s clinics, click here.
NFL FLAG Football will host its New England Patriots Regional Tournament presented by Subway in Boston and its NFL FLAG Open Series in Detroit on November 13th. The events will include co-ed, girls’ and boys’ teams, and age-group competition from 8-and-under to 17-and-under. NFL FLAG's mission is “to empower youth athletes and instill a lifelong passion for flag football through leagues that are engaging, fun, and accessible for everyone. With the support of the NFL, we provide a structured opportunity for kids to discover the importance of sportsmanship, teamwork, and friendship - on and off the field.”
The NYSD mission
National Youth Sports Day unites organizations such as USA Lacrosse and NFL FLAG around a core belief of NCYS: every young person has the right to participate in sports in a diverse, equitable, inclusive, supportive and safe environment.
The motivation is simple. Sports are a proven strategy to create healthier youth, transformational leaders, and globally-minded graduates – all serving to address many of our nation’s social and economic challenges. Sports serve as a protective factor against risky behaviors and create opportunities for youth to connect with supportive, caring coaches to develop lifelong skills.
“NCYS invites all youth sports organizations to participate in National Youth Sports Day and share your success stories with us,” Moss said. “Together, we can use our collective voice to amplify the power of sport as we make Nov. 13th ‘A Great Day to Play!’"
To learn more about National Youth Sports Day, access planning resources, and register, click here.