Sports can help child development along in many positive ways. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that "every child and adolescent should have an opportunity to participate in sports and regular physical activity." Sports can assist in motivating a child toward self-improvement in healthy, productive ways, which can be especially helpful for youth in lower income areas. A number of organizations have been formed to promote youth sports participation for low income areas.
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Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities
Also known as "R.B.I." this international organization is owned and operated by Major League Baseball. Its alumni boasts more than 170 total drafted professional baseball players since 1989. There are divisions in nearly every state, as well as many countries outside of the United States. Boys and girls ages six to 18 are welcome to play in the R.B.I. organization, and more than 100,000 children have had the opportunity to play.
Snoop Youth Football League
The SYFL was founded in 2004 by Cordozar Broadus, widely known by his stage name "Snoop Dogg." In an interview with "Time Out Chicago," Snoop Dogg claimed that the league is dedicated to inner city children in an attempt to "save lives, to help kids, and just to give back in general." The SYFL boasts four alumni who now play division one college football. The organization started out based in Los Angeles, however it has since expanded to Chicago. Over 3,500 children currently compete in the SYFL, many of which had to pay little to nothing thanks to city donations.
InnerCity Players Basketball
The InnerCity Players Basketball, or ICP, was founded in the fall of 1997 by Canaan Chatman. The goal of the league according to its mission statement is to "create an athletic environment in order to teach the fundamentals of basketball as well as the fundamentals of life." Children in the ICP go on various trips and outings designed to re-enforce positive goals in life. The organization is based out of Portland, Oregon and currently has more than 200 children and teens aged 8 to 17. One hundred percent of the players in the league graduate high school, and 90 percent move on to higher learning via an academic or athletic scholarship.