OCEAN CITY- The first group of local youths have completed the “Let’s Talk Sports” program, a national initiative aimed at teaching young athletes and their parents the true values of sports, which was introduced this year as a pilot program with the Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department before being distributed to other agencies across the country.
The free program is being piloted in Ocean City throughout November and will be released by the National Alliance for Youth Sports to other recreation agencies nationwide in January. Roughly 300 local youngsters are participating in the program. Among other objectives, the program instills in young athletes and their parents the importance of fundamental values in sports including teamwork, discipline, integrity and anti-bullying, for example.
Through “Let’s Talk Sports,” parents guide their children through an interactive series of engaging and thought-provoking questions via computer from the comfort of home that teach the importance of determination, confidence, respect, pride and anti-bullying, among many other key characteristics that are essential for leading successful lives as adults.
Parents with children involved in sports programs at the Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department can go through the “Let’s Talk Sports” program with their child at home at their own pace. Each section of the program targets an important life skill and scenarios are posed which challenge the child to choose the correct responses through a series of multiple choice questions.
Since parents participate alongside their child there is the added benefit of productive discussions emerging, which can strengthen the parent-child bond while enhancing the learning experience. Each child that completes the program will receive a free Certified Youth Sports Kid T-shirt as well as a certificate that they print from their computer.
Also, Buxy’s Salty Dog restaurant provided a free kid’s meal for any youngster wearing their Certified Youth Sports Kid T-shirt. Red Sun Apparel provided the T-shirts for the pilot program. In addition, parents and their child received a free booklet, “Increase Your Child’s Sports Power” written by noted exercise physiologist Dr. Michael Gray.