Government Involvement in Sport for Youth

Article 3 / 12 , Vol 36 No 1 (Spring)

Government Involvement in Sport for Youth

With youth obesity rates at an all-time high in Canada and daily youth physical exercise at an all-time low, government involvement in youth sport has become desperately needed for Canadian families. Without a strong set of core changes made by government to youth sport, Canadian families will continue to struggle with pressures such as; good nutrition, consistent meals, increasing cost barriers for sport registration fees, aged facilities, the decline of volunteerism, a lack of early age athletic development, a lack of programming for inner city youth, and the continuation of poor showings during international competitions. These growing problems require a change in culture and with obesity costing the country over $7 billion a year, the issue is a significant concern. This article looks at some possible solutions including successful models implemented in Europe.

The cost of government funded health care is spiraling out of control and room must be made for the health of youth. Top heavy and unwieldy with issues that affect the whole country, the Canadian health care system is based on the concept that after a citizen contracts an illness or becomes injured, the system is accessed to attempt to deal with and mitigate the consequences as best as possible. For some larger issues such as the rampant child obesity problem throughout the country, the health care system has a tendency of normalizing the issue.1 With more than 50% of the parents of obese children overweight themselves, this combination of busy lifestyle, reliance on convenience foods that are high in fat and calories, and too little physical activity all contribute to an issue that stems from the household.2

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