For many parents, it’s easy to see the physical benefits that children can gain from playing sports. Yet athleticism also supports children’s mental health and cognitive development in surprisingly impactful ways. Here are just a few of the psychological benefits of sports for kids:\
- Socializing. Interacting with peers toward a common goal helps to foster positive psychological development with regard to teamwork, communication, making new friends, and gaining a sense of belonging. All of these are beneficial for any child, but can be especially helpful for kids who have difficulty socializing at school.
- Better emotional health. Physical activity can increase the body’s production of feel-good chemicals dopamine and serotonin, which can help to improve mood. Regular exercise also helps to combat anxiety and depression. These mental health benefits of exercise are good for the development of all children, but can be a real lifeline for kids and teens coping with trauma and difficult times.
- Learning time management skills. Being a sports team member involves showing up on time for practice sessions, games, and team celebrations. This helps to teach young people personal responsibility and accountability, both of which are key traits for academic, personal, and professional success.
- Exploring identity and building self-esteem. Participating in sports encourages children to explore their interests, abilities, and potential, and to learn who they are as individuals. As kids and teens improve their athletic, social, and time-management skills, they also build greater self-esteem.
- Improving academic retention and performance. Research shows that playing sports helps children build cognitive skills and improve academic performance. This includes better concentration, attitudes, and behavior in school. Child athletes are also more likely than non-athletes to attend college, earn degrees, and enjoy career success.
Children who grow up in low-income communities and nations are at risk of missing out on the benefits of playing sports. You can give the potentially life-changing gift of athletic opportunities to children in developing countries like Uganda by donating to nonprofit organizations that promote the health and education of young Ugandans.
Give Ugandan Students the Gift of Sports With Simone’s Kids
Simone’s Kids in Nakaseke, Uganda provides high-quality primary and secondary education and meets basic needs for children in order to help them break the cycle of poverty. Your donations help purchase school supplies, textbooks, food, and other necessities for Ugandan students, as well as equipment for after-school team activities and sports like soccer.
You can maximize your impact with recurring donations to Simone’s Kids by joining The Village. The Village is a passionate group of donors committed to bettering the lives of children in Uganda by making monthly donations that help to provide better meals, more teachers, more activities, and even post-graduation services. Give today!
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