Monday, August 16th, was a huge day in the United States for the world of youth sports and the well-being of children. The Aspen Institute, through its Project Play Initiative, announced the release of the Children’s Bill of Rights in Sports. We at i9 Sports® are proud to endorse this Bill of Rights, as we believe wholeheartedly in a bright future for youth sports, driven by the rights of kids!
As our CEO Brian Sanders stated, “This has been a long time coming in the U.S. and reinforces why a focus on the experience in youth sports is so critically important for kids’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being. We fully endorse the Children’s Bill of Rights in Sports, and the work being done by the Aspen Institute Project Play team because all youth should have the opportunity to develop as people through sports.”
The Children’s Bill of Rights identifies eight rights:
- To play sports.
Organizations should make every effort to accommodate children’s interests to participate, and to help them play with peers from diverse backgrounds.
- To safe and healthy environments.
Children have the right to play in settings free from all forms of abuse (physical, emotional, sexual), hazing, violence, and neglect.
- To qualified program leaders.
Children have the right to play under the care of coaches and other adults who pass background checks and are trained in key competencies.
- To developmentally appropriate play.
Children have a right to play at a level commensurate with their physical, mental and emotional maturity, and their emerging athletic ability. They should be treated as young people first, athletes second.
- To share in the planning and delivery of their activities.
Children have the right to share their viewpoints with coaches and for their insights to be incorporated into activities.
- To an equal opportunity for personal growth.
Programs should invest equally in all child athletes, free of discrimination based on any personal or family characteristic.
- To be treated with dignity.
Children have the right to participate in environments that promote the values of sportsmanship, of respect for opponents, officials, and the game.
- To enjoy themselves.
Children have the right to participate in activities they consider fun, and which foster the development of friendships and social bonds.
At i9 Sports® our customers have come to expect quality coaches and instructors who will continually provide age-appropriate instruction that’s both fun for kids and convenient for busy families. Yet, we will continue to use these rights as a filter for all policies and practices to ensure the well-being of all children. We are excited for all that this bill of rights will do for the future of youth sports and hope that others will join us in support. Learn more and get involved by clicking here!