June 9, 2014
This week, I am pleased to share a new wellness position statement endorsed by the NCRPA Board of Directors at their May meeting, regarding youth sports and athletics. The position statement focuses on the use of food in three areas: athlete participation in sports, concessions during sporting events, and youth sports fundraising. Developed through the Statewide Pioneering Healthier Communities Advisory Committee of the NC Alliance of YMCAs, the statement has also been endorsed by the NC Center for Health and Wellness, the NC High School Athletic Association, Bridge II Sports, and the NC Alliance of YMCAs, with other youth sport stakeholder groups slated to endorse it in the upcoming months.
The position statement reads:
Statewide Pioneering Healthier Communities Position Statement on Nutrition for Youth and Adolescent Sports and Athletics
Nearly 1 million North Carolina children and youth ages 3 – 18 enjoy the benefits of participating in sport and athletic activities provided through schools, community recreation or other organized settings across our state. While the health benefits from physical activity through sport and athletics are widely accepted, the importance of sound nutrition practices for sport and athletic success is often overlooked and seldom promoted. Organizations that provide, sponsor and support youth sports and athletics should be committed to promoting practices that are based on sound evidence and consider the best interest of the youth participant. These organizations should do everything possible to provide access to healthy foods and beverages in all aspects of the youth sport and athletics experience including before, during and after practices and games, at concessions and through fundraising efforts. Such commitment and practice provides a clear message that a healthy diet is consistent with good health and optimal athletic performance.
It is the position of North Carolina Recreation & Park Association that youth and adolescents participating in sports shall have access to healthy foods and beverages as part of pre-game, mid-game, and post-game meals and snacks, particularly when those foods and beverages are provided by the sponsoring organization or school. Healthy shall be defined as foods and beverages that align with the nutrition standards outlined in the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Competitive Foods Guidelines for K-12 Schools and School Beverage Guidelines.
It is the position of North Carolina Recreation & Park Association that all spectators at any sporting event shall have access to a variety of healthy foods and beverages in concession stands. The healthy options shall be available, promoted, and priced competitively so as to encourage purchase and consumption. Healthy shall be defined as foods and beverages that align with the nutrition standards outlined in the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Competitive Foods Guidelines for K-12 Schools and School Beverage Guidelines.
It is the position of North Carolina Recreation & Park Association that youth sports fundraising shall promote healthy alternatives such as non-foods, physical activities and/or healthy food and beverage sales as outlined in the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Alternative Fundraising Ideas guidelines.
For a printable copy of the statement, visit the NCRPA website.
If you would like to learn more about how to include healthy options at your facilities, join us online June 24 at 1:30 for the next Wellness Webinar. The topic is Healthy Vending, and it will be presented by staff from Cabarrus County Active Living and Parks. Register here.
Finally, look in next week’s Wellness Bulletin for more details about the next Healthy Eating Workshop in Raleigh!
Graduate Assistant, NC Recreation & Park Association
883 Washington St, Raleigh, NC 27605