March 20, 2012
Laureus Chairman Dr Edwin Moses has urged the US Congress to reverse recent budget cuts that have reduced sports funding for young people.
Edwin Moses’ call for action follows a landmark new US Government report, released yesterday, that details the state of school sports across the country.
The report, compiled by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for the US Congress, revealed a range of worrying findings.
These findings include a reduction of physical education opportunities in schools, facility shortages resulting in gymnasia doubling up as cafeteria in particular cases, and some schools even being forced to charge students in order to take part in sport activities.
The latter being of particular concern as a barrier to sport for low-income students.
Writing exclusively on Laureus.com, Edwin Moses said: “I urge Congress to take serious note of the findings of the report, reverse the budget cuts of recent years and support public/private partnership initiatives.”
The GAO report also revealed alarming figures over the health of many young people in the US. It said that around 12.5 million children between two and 19 are obese to the point that the costs of childhood obesity in the US are estimated at $14.3 billion annually.
Following publication of the report, Edwin Moses took part in a panel discussion led by US Congressman Mike McIntyre at the Longworth House Office Building of the US Capitol in Washington DC.
Also on the panel was Paul Caccamo, Executive Director of Up2Us, which is a partner of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA.
Caccamo said: “This study opens the door to a much needed dialogue on youth sports and sheds light on the challenges facing sports programmes in the US, particularly the need for trained coaches. We are aware of the connections between sports participation and improved educational and health outcomes in children.”