An outcome of this year’s activities and athletics study in District 16, the first annual Youth Athletics and Activities Open House is scheduled for Tuesday, June 3.
Representatives from district and community programs will fill the Spring Lake Park High School gymnasium from 5:30-7 p.m. to let families know what opportunities are out there for kids of all ages to get involved.
The open house is the first of several planned initiatives to come out of the activities and athletics study, which really took off this fall.
“One of the main reasons we did the study in the first place was to look at … what might hinder a student from participating in student athletics and activities,” Director of Community Education Colleen Pederson said. She co-led the study with Activities and Athletic Director Matt St. Matin.
After feedback from many youth sports organization leaders, the study’s design team found that lack of access to activities and athletics at an early age was a barrier for students, Pederson said.
Participation numbers from youth sports organizations were lower than Pederson thought they would be, given the district’s enrollment figures, she said.
So, the design team decided that spreading the word about programs available to younger kids, as well as middle and high school students, would benefit families. An open house would provide information about what programs exist, how to register, what pricing looks like and more, Pederson said.
The event will occur annually, if not more often.
“The idea is if we can get the kids involved early and get them hooked on football or get them hooked on basketball, that’s only going to strengthen … the level of involvement and engagement for middle school and high school youth,” Pederson said.
“Next steps” of the study will be presented to the school board in June.
Olivia Koester is at [email protected]